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Moscow Bans John Boehner, John McCain, Seven Others From Entering Russia

As the United States begins to impose sanctions on Russia following their invasion and subsequent annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, Russia is retaliating with sanctions of their own. On Thursday, Russian officials released a list of nine American officials that are now banned from entering the country.

The list of officials hand picked by the Russians include House Speaker John Boehner, Arizona Senator John McCain, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics Caroline Atkinson, senior White House adviser Daniel Pfeiffer, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, Indiana Senator Dan Coats, and Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu.

The move came on the heels of the United States placing sanctions on 20 Russian officials.

The American officials on Russia’s sanctions list aren’t exactly all choked up about it. A spokesperson for John Boehner told media that “The Speaker is proud to be included on a list of those willing to stand against Putin’s aggression.”

Senator Menendez echoed the Speaker’s sentiment, adding “If standing up for the Ukrainian people, their freedom, their hard earned democracy, and sovereignty means I’m sanctioned by Putin, so be it.”

Senator Coats was amused by the entire situation, saying “While I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to go on vacation with my family in Siberia this summer, I am honored to be on this list.”

Meanwhile, the European Union has also imposed sanctions on 33 Russians and has canceled the upcoming EU-Russia summit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters that “We are ready to start stage three if there is further escalation with a view to Ukraine, those are economic sanctions and we asked the European Commission today to do preparatory work for possible economic sanctions.”

Of course, Crimea has already voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia while Putin has already signed a law annexing Crimea. Although the west argues that the Crimean vote was held under threat of intimidation, Putin’s approval ratings in Russia have soared since the invasion and more than 75 percent of Russians now support the president’s actions.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

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Igor Derysh is the Managing Editor of Latest. com and a syndicated columnist whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sun Sentinel, and AOL News. His work has been criticized in even more publications. Follow him on Twitter @IgorDerysh