Russia’s retaliatory move blacklists 500 US citizens, including Obamatext_fields
Moscow: In response to the latest round of sanctions imposed by the United States, Russia's foreign ministry has announced a travel ban on 500 American citizens, including former President Barack Obama. The move is seen as a retaliatory measure against Washington's punitive actions targeting Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
Furthermore, Russia has refused the latest US request for consular access to Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was arrested in March on suspicion of spying. The denial of access comes amid escalating tensions between the two countries.
The Russian foreign ministry justified its actions by stating that the US had refused visas to media accompanying Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the United Nations last month. In a statement, the ministry emphasized that "not a single hostile attack on Russia will go unpunished" and urged Washington to learn from past experiences.
In a parallel development, the United States announced punitive measures against over 300 targets, intensifying one of the harshest sanctions efforts ever implemented against Russia. The US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, stated that these actions would tighten the vise on President Vladimir Putin's ability to wage his "barbaric invasion" and hinder Russian attempts to evade sanctions.
The US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on 22 individuals and 104 entities, including companies involved in importing shipping, or manufacturing electronics components, semiconductors, and microelectronics for Russia. Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted that the measures specifically targeted an international network responsible for procuring components for the Russia-based entity involved in manufacturing the Orlan drone, which is being used by Russian forces and their proxies in Ukraine.
Among the targets of the US sanctions were Russian intelligence services' procurement networks and agents operating in countries such as Liechtenstein and the Netherlands. The Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation also faced sanctions.
Additionally, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Russia's energy education and research institutions, aiming to limit the country's future extractive capabilities.