A number of Americans, including actors Sean Penn and Ben Stiller, were sanctioned by Russia this week in response to U.S. sanctions against Russians because of the conflict in Ukraine. There are several US senators on the new sanctions list including Arizona senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, North Dakota senator Kevin Cramer, South Dakota senator Mike Rounds, Florida senator Rick Scott, and Pennsylvania senator Pat Toomey. The list also included Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. Before that, Russia had sanctioned over a dozen other serving senators.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has stated that the group, which would also include academics, business leaders and government officials, would face a permanent ban from entering Russia. Several private sector executives were also targeted by Russia’s latest round of sanctions, including executives from geospatial analysis company HawkEye 360 and fertilizer manufacturer CF Industries. Also included are individuals who work for nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations, such as former congressman Tom Perriello (D-Va), president of Open Society-U.S., which is part of a grant-making organization directed by Democratic mega-donor George Soros.
According to a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry, the new names, which bring the total number of Americans banned from entering Russia to 1,073, are in response to the U.S. sanctions against the Russians following the Russian-led invasion of Ukraine. “The hostile actions of the American authorities, which continue to follow a Russophobic course, destroying bilateral ties and escalating confrontation between Russia and the United States, will continue to be resolutely rebuffed,” the statement of Russian authorities announcing the sanctions read.
Furthermore, Russia banned actors Sean Penn and Ben Stiller, who both visited Ukraine during the war, from entering the country. The two actors have been vocal in their criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Penn is an activist involved in many causes, including relief work. Meanwhile, Stiller is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
“I do know that we have to invest everything that we have to support the Ukrainian people and to support President Zelensky, or I do not think we will have a legitimate memory of what America hopes to be,” the “Milk” star declared to Anderson Cooper of CNN during an interview in March, said The Hill.
In his capacity as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’, Stiller met with Zelensky at the end of June. “It’s one thing to see this destruction on TV or on social networks. Another thing is to see it all with your own eyes,” Stiller stated after his visit. “That’s a lot more shocking.”
In previous rounds of Russian sanctions against Americans, Joe Biden and his family were targeted, as were legislators and business leaders. Other officials banned from Russian soil included Deputy National Security Adviser Daleep Singh, US Agency for International Development chief Samantha Power, US Export-Import Bank chief Reta Jo Lewis and former secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The U.S. has also sanctioned a number of Russians, including both government officials and businessmen.