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Some of the “500 Americans” blocking entry to Russia

(CNN) — Former US President Barack Obama, TV host Stephen Colbert and CNN’s Erin Burnett are among the “500 Americans” banned from entering Russia.

Russia announced on Friday it was banning the entry of “500 Americans,” many of them senior figures in the US executive branch, “in response to routine anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the Joe Biden administration,” according to a statement. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.

The list includes Obama, former US ambassador John Huntsman, several US senators and the expected next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Charles Q. Brown Jr.

These include American late-night television hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Colbert and Seth Meyers.

The statement said: “The linked ‘500-list’ includes people in government and law enforcement agencies who were directly involved in harassing dissidents following the so-called storming of the Capitol.”
On January 6, 2021, dozens of supporters of former US President Donald Trump attempted to block Biden’s presidential certification and stormed the US capital.

Russian President Vladimir Putin questioned the arrests of the rioters months later, saying people had come to Congress with “political demands”. Reuters reported.

Friday’s list includes CNN anchor Erin Burnett, and is an update to a previously published long list of sanctioned individuals that includes CNN’s chief international security correspondent Nick Patton Walsh, senior global affairs analyst Biana Kolotryka and CNN contributor Timothy Naftali.

Although named as one of the “500 Americans” in the list, Patton Walsh is a British citizen.

The ministry justified the sanctions in a statement posted on its website: “It is time for Washington to learn that even a hostile attack against Russia will not go without a strong response.”

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It does not specify the complaints against each individual or explain what the sanctions mean beyond a ban on entry into the country.

In addition, the ministry said it was denying US journalist Ivan Gershkovich’s request for consular access to the US Embassy due to “non-issue of visas to Russian journalists from the Lavrov Group” following a Russian trip. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited the United States in April.