WASHINGTON — The Russian Foreign Ministry announced a round of sanctions against U.S. officials in response to new, heavier sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and a bank that services them.
Russia is imposing sanctions on Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs Caroline Atkinson, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Mary Landrieu, Sen. John McCain, and Sen. Dan Coats.
The officials are barred from entering Russia.
“The speaker is proud to be included on a list of those willing to stand against Putin’s aggression,” Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel said in a statement on Thursday.
Menendez tweeted, “If standing up for #democracy & sovereignty in #Ukraine means I’m #SanctionedByPutin, I’ll take it.”
“While I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to go on vacation with my family in Siberia this summer, I am honored to be on this list,” Coats said in a statement. “Putin’s recent aggression is unacceptable, and America must join with our European allies to isolate and punish Russia. I will continue to lead efforts on Capitol Hill to bring Putin to his senses.”
The Daily Beast reported on Tuesday that Russia would sanction some U.S. senators, though some named in the report, like Sen. Dick Durbin, are not on the list, and others who were reported to not be on the list, like Reid, are on it.
The Russian response has been received as less potent than the new U.S. sanctions. The United States announced a round of sanctions targeting officials and oligarchs with close ties to Putin as well as Bank Rossiya — individuals and entities that many Russia watchers never expected to be hit with sanctions.
This post has been updated to include Coats’ statement.