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Obama, Colbert among 500 Americans banned erom Russia


By Michael Kat From Newsmax

Former President Barack Obama, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, late-night host Stephen Colbert and several members of Congress from both parties are among 500 U.S. citizens barred from entering Russia, the Kremlin said Friday.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a news release the moves were in response to the strengthening of more than 300 sanctions the Biden administration announced at the G-7 summit in Japan to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

The sanctions target 22 individuals and 104 entities “with touchpoints in more than 20 countries or jurisdictions, target those attempting to circumvent or evade sanctions and other economic measures against Russia,” according to the Treasury Department.

Among the Russian officials targeted are Deputy Prime Minister Viktoriya Abramchenko, and three aides to President Vladimir Putin: Igor Yevgenyevich, Larisa Brycheva and Dmitriy Shalkov.

“Today’s actions will further tighten the vise on Putin’s ability to wage his barbaric invasion and will advance our global efforts to cut off Russian attempts to evade sanctions,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Friday in a news release.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the list includes those involved with the “spread of “Russophobic attitudes and fakes,” as well as “those in government and law enforcement agencies who are directly involved in the persecution of dissidents in the wake of the so-called Storming the Capitol,” most likely referring to the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

“It is high time for Washington to learn that not a single hostile attack against Russia will be left without a strong reaction,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said. “The principle of the inevitability of punishment will be consistently applied, whether we are talking about tougher sanctions pressure or discriminatory steps to hinder the professional activities of our fellow citizens.”

The list of U.S. citizens barred from entering Russia includes U.S. Sens. JD Vance, R-Ohio, and Katie Britt, R-Ala., U.S. Reps. Glenn Ivey, D-Md., Aaron Paul, R-Fla., Laurel Lee, R-Fla., and Becca Balint, D-Vt., and late-night hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers. Also included were Democratic Attorneys General Letitia James of New York and Rob Bonta of California.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry also announced a request by the U.S. embassy in Moscow for a consular visit to Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who the U.S. says is being wrongfully detained on espionage charges, was rejected.

The Foreign Ministry said the request was denied in response to the refusal of the U.S. to issue visas to Russian journalists that sought to cover Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to the U.N. Security Council in New York in late April.

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