Russia’s foreign ministry has denied entry to Joe Biden, Antony Blinken, Jen Psaki, Hillary Clinton, and other officials.
Russia says it has sanctioned a number of current and former American officials as the battle in Ukraine continues.
President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, White House communications secretary Jen Psaki, CIA Director William Burns, and – strangely, considering she’s no longer in office – former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are among those on the list. The measures were announced on Twitter by Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“In response to a series of unprecedented sanctions prohibiting, among other things, entry into the United States for top Russian officials, effective March 15 this year, the Russian ‘stop list’ includes @JoeBiden, @SecBlinken and a number of other American figures on the basis of reciprocity,” the ministry said on Tuesday.
Since the invasion of Ukraine began last month, the United States and other nations have imposed severe sanctions on Russia. The measures have devastated the country’s economy, and experts believe Moscow may soon default on its debts.
The sanctions have also specifically targeted Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle, freezing their assets and barring their entry into some countries, including the US.
The wording of Tuesday’s statement made it clear that Russia’s sanctions against American leaders, past and present, are meant as a retaliation against those measures – “on the basis of reciprocity.”
As some experts pointed out, however, reciprocity has its limits. While many Russian oligarchs depend on Western financial institutions, most Western officials don’t feel the same reliance on Russia.
“Russia has sanctioned Joe Biden and a range of other top US officials,” Max Seddon, the Moscow bureau chief of the Financial Times, explained mockingly on Twitter. “The main impact of this is they can now make corny jokes on cable news about how they won’t be able to access their Russian bank accounts or go on vacation in Siberia, I guess.”
Meanwhile, Ms Clinton appeared to take the news of her punishment well.
“I want to thank the Russian Academy for this Lifetime Achievement Award,” she tweeted.