Russia sanctions 398 members of Congress
Russia announced Wednesday that it had imposed retaliatory sanctions on U.S. members of Congress in response to similar sanctions levied against more than 300 Russian lawmakers last month.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a release that it was imposing “mirror” sanctions against 398 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The move is the latest in a string of reprisals from the Russian government in response to U.S. sanctions.
“These individuals, including the leadership and committee chairmen of the lower house of the U.S. Congress, are placed on the Russian ‘stop list’ on a permanent basis,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in the release.
Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) responded to the news of the sanctions imposed against him by Russia on Twitter, saying that his family escaped “the Russian pogroms” of the late 19th century and were granted refuge in the U.S.
“Today, 120 years later, I was sanctioned by Russia for opposing the very genocide, authoritarianism, and tyranny I promised my great-grandparents I would fight,” he added.
Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) reacted to the news of his inclusion on the list in a tweet, saying, “Well there goes my Spring Break plans!”
Utah Republican Rep. John Curtis said that it was an “honor to be included” on the list.
“Yesterday, I was sanctioned by the Russian State for opposing their grotesque and brutal attacks on Ukraine and Ukrainian civilians,” Rep. Debbie Dingell said, also calling it “a badge of honor.”
The ministry said that it plans to expand the travel ban list in the near future. It noted that other U.S. lawmakers, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have previously been banned from entering Russia.
The ministry added that the measures came in response to the sanctions announced by President Biden on March 24, which targeted 328 members of the Duma, Russia’s legislative body, as well as the Duma itself as an entity.
The announcement comes as relations between the U.S. and Russia have deteriorated following the latter’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Russia also announced it was sanctioning 87 Canadian senators.
This development comes a few weeks after the Kremlin expelled some American diplomats from the country after the U.S. removed 12 Russian diplomats late last month.
— Updated Thursday at 3:09 p.m.