Russian counters new sanctions by banning Obama, comedians, and journalists from the country

Former President Barack Obama, late-night television hosts, lawmakers and journalists, including from The Washington Times, are among “500 Americans” that Russia has banned from entering the country.

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the move was made “in a response to the regularly anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the Joe Biden administration.” 

The Foreign Ministry said the list – which includes 45 members of the U.S. House, Sens. J.D. Vance of Ohio, Katie Britt of Alabama and Eric Schmit of Missouri – was composed of people who spread Russophobia, and supplied Ukraine with arms.

Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, a columnist and commentary section editor at The Washington Times, was among the blackballed members of the media. Nick Paton Walsh, a CNN reporter 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 ministry statement also said, “The attached ‘list-500’ also includes those in government and law enforcement agencies who are directly involved in the persecution of dissidents in the wake of the so-called Storming the Capitol.” 

The latter half of the statement alluded to the events of Jan. 6 2021 when a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol to protest his loss in the 2020 election.

The ministry said, “It is high time for Washington to learn that not a single hostile attack against Russia will go without a strong reaction.”

The United States and other G-7 nations unveiled the new sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine during their summit Friday in Japan.

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