Russia released a list of Americans that are permanently banned from ever entering its country. The total is currently at 963 and includes President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, CIA head William Burns and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
“We emphasize that the hostile actions taken by Washington, which boomerang against the United States itself, will continue to receive a proper rebuff,” the Russian Foreign Ministry explained in a statement on its website. “Russian counter-sanctions are forced and aimed at forcing the ruling American regime, which is trying to impose a neo-colonial ‘rules-based world order’ on the rest of the world, to change its behavior, recognizing new geopolitical realities.”
The country was the subject of intense scrutiny and backlash after invading Ukraine in February. The list of those subject to lifetime bans was published Saturday—the same day that Biden approved a package that would provide $40 billion in economic, military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Others public figures who aren’t allowed to step foot on Russian soil include those who have critiqued the country in some form or fashion.
Actor Morgan Freeman, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, DreamWorks Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and CNN correspondent Nick Paton Walsh are forbidden from Russia. Others include: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former White House press secretary Jen Psaki, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley.
One person noticeably absent from the list? Donald Trump. The former president was accused of being suspiciously close to Putin. His administration was investigated for alleged Russian election interference and relations between Trump and Moscow.
Fiona Hill, former national security council official, testified during Trump’s first impeachment for withholding military aid to Ukraine in an attempt to obtain dirt on political adversaries. Last week, she told the Chicago Council on Global Affairs: “The Russians are incredibly organized. They take advantage of every opportunity, every vulnerability, every open door they can walk through.”