Russia has imposed an entry ban on eight Americans. Among them, the chief of the FBI, Christopher Ray. This measure follows the sanctions announced by the United States against Russia last Thursday. “We can take painful steps for American businesses.”
The entry ban applies to current and former US officials, who the Russian State Department said “are involved in the pursuit of an anti-Russian course.”
In addition to Ray, there are a number of notable names on the sanctions list. Likewise, former CIA director Robert Woolsey has been barred from entering Russia, as has John Bolton, security adviser to Republican Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump.
Moscow will also expel ten American diplomats from Russia. This is equivalent to the number of Russian Embassy employees who must leave the United States. In addition, the Kremlin prohibits non-governmental organizations and other US government agencies from operating in Russia.
US Ambassador John Sullivan is excluded from sanctions, but the Russian Foreign Ministry recommends “to travel to Washington for consultations.” The ministry emphasizes that this is not about “deportation” of Sullivan.
Secretary of State Sergei Lavrov calls on Washington to reduce the number of diplomats in Russia to three hundred, the equivalent of Russian diplomatic service in the United States, minus the staff of the Russian permanent mission to the UN in New York.
In addition, Russia restricts short-term business travel by US State Department employees to Russia. The issuance of visas is reduced to a minimum: up to ten people per year on a reciprocal basis.
Lavrov also promised economic sanctions, but at the same time noted that Moscow could not afford to repay the United States with its own currency. For example, the United States banned the purchase of Russian government bonds from June 14. This is generally considered a painful punishment, as the Russian state budget depends on this sale for about 30%. “But we can take painful measures for American companies, we will keep them in reserve,” Lavrov added.
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