(The Hill) — The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday that it is imposing sanctions on President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and others as tensions escalate between Russia and the West over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“In response to a series of unprecedented sanctions banning, among other things, entry into the United States for top officials of the Russian Federation,” the senior U.S. officials are being placed on “the Russian ‘stop-list’ on the basis of mutual reciprocity, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a post on Facebook.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley has also been placed on the list, along with “a number of department heads and famous American leaders,” the post adds.
“This step, taken in the order of backlash, became an inevitable consequence of the extreme Russophobic course taken by the current #US Administration, which in a desperate attempt to preserve American hegemony, made a bet, throwing away all decency … and Russia’s frontal restraint,” the ministry added.
The ministry noted that official relations could be maintained if they met Russia’s interests, adding “if necessary, we will solve problems arising from the status of blacklisted persons, to organize contacts of a high level.”
Others also sanctioned include White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Biden’s son Hunter Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CIA Director William Burns. The Russian Foreign Ministry said more people would be added to the list.
Russia’s foreign ministry also announced sanctions on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly and Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand, among other top Canadian officials and lawmakers who will not be allowed to enter the country.
The White House announced on Feb. 25, the day after Russia invaded Ukraine, that it was taking the rare step of placing sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and 11 members of the Russian security council who serve as top aides and advisers to Putin.
In a series of escalating measures, Biden last week announced a ban on Russian imports of oil, natural gas and coal. The U.S. and other Group of Seven nations also moved to revoke Russia’s preferential trade status, a move that Biden said would deliver a strong blow to Russia’s economy.
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.