Russia has sanctioned President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and several other administration officials in retaliation for U.S. sanctions on Russian banks, oligarchs and commodities over Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, per Bloomberg News. .
Why it matters: The sanctions, while largely symbolic and expected, still mark an escalation in hostilities between the U.S. and Russia.
- The sanctions would prohibit travel and freeze any assets held in Russia but not prevent high-level talks if they are planned, Bloomberg reported.
- Russia also sanctioned Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, press secretary Jen Psaki, CIA Director William Burns and other economic and financial officials.
- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, were also included, but both do not currently serve in the U.S. government.
The big picture: Because of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has surpassed Iran as the most sanctioned country in the world, while numerous Russian elites, including President Vladimir Putin, have been directly sanctioned by multiple countries.
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