Senators defiant in face of potential sanctions from Russia

If Russia is trying to "piss off" Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), it is going about it the wrong way, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said Tuesday.

The Daily Beast reported Monday that McCain and a group of other U.S. lawmakers and administration officials could be included on a sanctions list Russia is drawing up, a move that came on the same day the Obama administration imposed sanctions against 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials.

Murphy has been a close friend of McCain's on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The two traveled to Ukraine amid protests there late last year. They again traveled to the country over the weekend with a larger group to speak with officials in the new interim Ukrainian government ahead of the referendum vote in Crimea to gain independence from Ukraine and join Russia.

The Daily Beast reported Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to release the list as early as Tuesday, citing diplomatic sources. Putin did not mention the reported sanctions during an address Tuesday morning.

McCain remained defiant amid reports, telling the news outlet he would be "honored to be on the list" and joking that he would have to "withdraw my money from my secret account in St. Petersburg."

A number of Russian officials made similarly dismissive comments about the U.S. sanctions on Monday.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who helped craft resolution condemning Russia's movement into Ukraine, is also expected to be on the list.

"My Lithuanian-born mother would be proud her son made Vladimir Putin’s American enemies list," he told The Daily Beast.

According to the report, others who could be on the list include the two leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), as well as Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Victoria Nuland.

U.S sanctions were imposed Monday on members of the Russian government. They also extended to Russian individuals working in the country's arms industry or who provide support to senior Russian government officials.

The Obama administration named seven Russian officials and four others who offered support, including ousted Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych.

The administration said it expects there could be more to come.

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