Russia says it has put United States President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a dozen top US officials on a “stop list” that bars them from entering the country as tensions escalate over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia’s foreign ministry has also imposed sanctions on Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, press secretary Jen Psaki, Biden’s son Hunter and other members of the administration.
The measures are to block their entry into Russia and freeze any assets held in the country.
The ban was in response to sanctions imposed by Washington on Russian officials amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The measures appeared to be mainly symbolic, as the foreign ministry said it was maintaining official relations and if necessary, would make sure that high-level contacts with the people on the list could take place.
Russia is now the most sanctioned country in the world.
Western countries have already sanctioned top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov.
The US yesterday announced sanctions on eleven Russian defence leaders and signalled that it could levy sanctions against Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Moscow-allied Belarus.
Earlier, the UK slapped sanctions on another 370 Russian individuals, including former Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev.
Biden is due to travel to Europe next week to attend an emergency Nato summit in Brussels where he will assert Washington’s “iron-clad” backing to its allies, the White House said yesterday.