Former President Barack Obama, late-night TV hosts, lawmakers and journalists, including the Washington Times, are among the “500 Americans” barred from entering the country by Russia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the move was made “in response to the anti-Russian sanctions regularly imposed by the Joe Biden administration.”
The State Department said the list – which includes 45 members of the United States House, senses JD Vance of Ohio, Katie Britt of Alabama and Eric Schmit of Missouri – was made up of people who spread Russophobia and supplied arms to Ukraine.
Among the blackballed members of the media was Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, a columnist and editor of the Washington Times’ comments section. Nick Paton Walsh, a CNN journalist and British citizen, was on the list.
Late-night comedians Jimmy Kimmell, Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers are also on the list, along with former US Ambassador Jon Huntsman.
The Foreign Office statement also said, “The attached ‘500 List’ also includes government and law enforcement personnel who are directly involved in the persecution of dissidents in the wake of the so-called storming of the Capitol”.
The second half of the statement alluded to the events of January 6, 2021 when a crowd of supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol to protest his defeat in the 2020 election.
The ministry said: “It is high time Washington learned that no hostile attack on Russia will happen without a strong reaction.”
The United States and other G-7 countries unveiled new sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine at their summit in Japan on Friday.