In response to US sanctions, Russia announced on Friday that it has barred 500 Americans, among them former US leader Obama, from entering its territory.
“In response to the anti-Russian sanctions regularly imposed by the Biden administration… entry into the Russian Federation is closed for 500 Americans,” the foreign ministry stated, adding that Obama was on the list.
On Friday, the US expanded its sanctions blacklist to include hundreds of new entities and individuals, intensifying its pressure on Russia’s economy over the Ukraine crisis, according to AFP.
The foreign ministry warned that Russia would retaliate against any hostile action by Washington.
The list included TV hosts such as Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Seth Meyers, as well as CNN’s Erin Burnett and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Joe Scarborough.
Russia also said it banned senators, congressmen, and think tank members who spread “Russophobic lies and fakes,” and the heads of firms that provide weapons to Ukraine.
Russia also announced that it denied consular access to US reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested in March on espionage charges.
The decision was triggered by Washington’s refusal to grant visas to journalists who were supposed to join Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the UN in April.
US imposes new sanctions on Russia amid G7 summit in Hiroshima On Friday, the US hit more than 300 targets with sanctions as the G7 leaders met in Japan, aiming to punish Russia for its aggression in Ukraine and broaden one of the most powerful sanctions campaigns ever.
The action, which targets Russia’s evasion of sanctions, future oil revenues, and military-industrial supply chains, is the latest in a series of sanctions and export controls against Moscow, which have already affected thousands of targets and severely constrained Russia.
“Today’s actions will further squeeze (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s capacity to carry out his brutal invasion and will boost our global efforts to block Russian attempts to dodge sanctions,” US Treasury Department Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement, as reported by Reuters.
Experts think that while the sanctions have definitely hurt Russia’s economy, they have not yet stopped Putin from pursuing a war that has claimed tens of thousands of lives and destroyed cities.
According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the action on Friday targeted a global network that supplies parts for the Russia-based company that makes the Orlan drone, which Russian forces and their proxies use in Ukraine.