RUSSIA on Tuesday sanctioned US President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and ten other administration officials and political figures.
Moscow said the sanctions were a reciprocal measure, imposed after Washington blacklisted top Russian leaders, including President Vladimir Putin.
The latest additions to Russia’s “stop list” were announced by the Kremlin on Tuesday, and were described as a “counter reaction” to the “extremely Russophobic course taken by the current US administration.”
Appearing at the top of the 13-name list is President Biden, followed by Blinken and Austin. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, CIA Director William Burns, and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki are also named. Further down the list, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Biden’s son Hunter – whose dealings with a Ukrainian energy firm have previously been questioned and criticized – are also included.
Inclusion on the list denies any of these people entry into the Russian Federation. However, the Kremlin’s statement said that Moscow would not rule out contact with American officials “if they meet our national interests.”
“This step, taken as a response measure, is the inevitable result of the extreme Russophobic policy of the current US Administration, which, in a desperate attempt to maintain American hegemony, has abandoned any sense of decorum and placed its bets on the head-on containment of Russia,” said the Russian Foreign Ministry in a statement.
“However, we do not oppose maintaining official ties when it is in our national interests, and, if necessary, we will address the issues arising from the status of the black-listed individuals in order to organise high-level contacts.”
More names will be added to the list “in the near future,” the statement continued, warning that “top US officials, military officials, lawmakers, businessmen, experts and media personalities who are Russophobic or contribute to inciting hatred towards Russia” will also be blacklisted.
The US has previously sanctioned Russian businesspeople and media figures, so retaliatory sanctions by Moscow could potentially be applied in a tit-for-tat manner.
List of US citizens slapped with sanctions:
1. Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.;
2. Antony John Blinken;
3. Lloyd James Austin III;
4. Mark Alexander Milley;
5. Jacob Jeremiah Sullivan, National Security Advisor;
6. William Joseph Burns, Director of the CIA;
7. Jennifer Rene Psaki, White House Press Secretary;
8. Daleep Singh, Deputy National Security Advisor;
9. Samantha Jane Power, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development;
10. Robert Hunter Biden, son of the US President;
11. Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, former US presidential candidate;
12. Adewale Adeyemo, US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury;
13. Reta Jo Lewis, President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.