Russi imposed retalitory sanctions on nine US officials today warning the West would be hit back over “every hostile thrust.”
Three White House officials and five U.S. senators – Harry Reid, Robert Menendez, John McCain, Mary Landrieu and Dan Coats – were among the Americans barred from Russia.
Senator John McCain responded to the news:
I guess this means my spring break in Siberia is off, Gazprom stock is lost & secret bank account in Moscow is frozen http://t.co/TgwZneD4HY
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) March 20, 2014
Moscow’s action followed U.S. sanctions on Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean individuals announced by President Barack Obama on Monday and again on Thursday.
The latest U.S. sanctions, which also involved a bank, targeted several individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin in retaliation for his military seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea region. Any assets they have in the United States will be frozen and they will also be barred from U.S. travel.
The White House officials cited by Moscow were senior Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer and deputy national security advisers Ben Rhodes and Caroline Atkinson.
Lawmakers in Washington were quick to welcome their new designation.
“If standing up for the Ukrainian people, their freedom, their hard earned democracy, and sovereignty means I’m sanctioned by Putin, so be it,” said Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
McCain threw in a bit of sarcasm.
“I guess this means my spring break in Siberia is off, my Gazprom stock is lost, and my secret bank account in Moscow is frozen,” said the Arizona Republican, who traveled to Kiev in December and addressed huge crowds of protesters against what was then Ukraine’s Moscow-backed government.