Russia sanctions 398 members of Congress as a ‘mirror’ of US sanctions

  • Russia has blacklisted 398 members of Congress in a new wave of “mirror” sanctions.
  • Moscow says it is reciprocating US sanctions imposed last month against its lower house of parliament.
  • The “stop list” includes members from both sides of the aisle and even critics of Ukraine.

Russia announced sanctions against 398 members of the US Congress on Wednesday to “mirror” the Biden administration’s sanctions last month against the State Duma.

“These people, including the leaders and chairmen of the lower house of the US Congress, are regularly placed on the Russian ‘arrest list’,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The statement said the new measures bar blacklisted members of Congress from entering Russia.

He said the list was created on “the basis of reciprocity”, referring to when the US Treasury Department sanctioned 328 members of Russia’s lower house of parliament on March 24 in retaliation for the US invasion. Ukraine by the Kremlin.

Several prominent House members and leaders, such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, were not included in the Russian list on Wednesday because they were already blacklisted, the statement added.

Among the new US lawmakers sanctioned by Russia are Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, two congressmen who have publicly criticized Ukraine in the face of overwhelming House support in Kyiv.

Greene had suggested that Ukraine was responsible for the Russian invasion because it agitated Moscow, calling it “pushing the bear” on the right-wing media program BKP Politics. Meanwhile, Cawthorn had called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “thug” and the Ukrainian government “incredibly evil”.

Other House representatives affected include Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Rep. Matt Gaetz, who both voted against a March 17 resolution to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and its ally Belarus.

Boebert had said Congress was “focusing on distractions abroad and not on our own Joe Biden-induced challenges at home,” according to Colorado Newsline.

The members of Congress concerned seem to have taken the news of the sanctions with ease. “It’s a badge of honor,” said GOP Rep. Ashley Hinson of Iowa tweeted. “But it’s laughable that Putin thinks these sanctions will even slightly discourage our efforts to defeat him and support the Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom.”

In another example, Democratic Representative Adriano Espaillat for New York tweeted: “My evening couldn’t have ended better. Honored to be selected and proud to stand with the people of Ukraine – always.”

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