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Russia hits Biden, Blinken and other top U.S. officials with sanctions

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Washington — The Russian Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday it is imposing sanctions on more than a dozen Americans, including President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, as retaliation for sweeping economic penalties from the Biden administration targeting Russian entities over the invasion of Ukraine.

The list of those sanctioned by Russia include 12 current and former government officials, as well as Hunter Biden, Mr. Biden's son. In addition, the Americans slapped with the penalties are:

  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley
  • White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan
  • CIA Director Bill Burns
  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki
  • Deputy national security adviser Daleep Singh
  • USAID Director Samantha Power
  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
  • Deputy Treasury Secretary Adewale Adeyemo
  • Export-Import Bank Chairman Reta Jo Lewis

Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement it intends to sanction more U.S. officials, military leaders, lawmakers and members of the media who are critical of the country. 

U.S. officials hit with penalties by Russia are prohibited from entering the country and any assets they told there are frozen, the ministry said, but the measures do not hinder high-level contacts if needed.

Psaki, who was among the Biden administration officials sanctioned, told reporters during the White House press briefing that none of the U.S. figures punished were planning tourist trips to Russia or have bank accounts impacted by the measures "so we will forge ahead."

The sanctions from Moscow come after the Biden administration targeted a wide range of Russian financial institutions, government officials, including President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and oligarchs with economic penalties intended to punish Russia for the war in Ukraine, which it launched 20 days ago.

To cut Russia from the global financial system, the U.S. and European allies have sanctioned the country's largest banks and the Central Bank of Russia, and moved to cut specific financial institutions from the SWIFT financial messaging system. Mr. Biden announced last week his administration would also be banning Russian oil and gas imports into the U.S., a move that takes aim at a key sector of Russia's economy.

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