Russia to permanently ban entry for eight US officials
Moscow will shortly publish a list of eight senior US officials and public figures that will be permanently banned from entering Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on Friday.
"Soon, the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry will publish the names of eight current and former American high-ranking officials and public figures involved in developing and implementing the anti-Russian policy course. They will be permanently banned from entering the Russian Federation. This is a tit-for-tat measure in response to the sanctions against Russian officials blacklisted by the US last month," the statement says.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that the measures announced on Friday are only a part of Moscow’s options. "There are other options. Of course, we understand that our possibilities for a tit-for-tat economic response are limited. But there are some options in this sphere, and they will be used if Washington continues to move along the sanctions spiral," the ministry said.
Moscow calls on Washington to display wisdom and reject confrontation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in its statement Friday, adding that now is high time to do so. "It is high time for the US to display wisdom and reject the confrontational course. Otherwise, we will implement a set of decisions, sensitive to the US, such as ordering US diplomatic missions in Russia to reduce their staff to 300 people," the statement says. Thus, the ministry points out, real parity will be reached regarding the number of employees of diplomatic missions, with the exception of Russia’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York.
"Unfortunately, the threats of new punitive measures voiced in the statements of the American side demonstrate that Washington does not want to listen to us and does not want to value the restraint that we have shown despite the high degree of tensions that were purposefully escalated since the time Barack Obama was in office," the statement notes.
The ministry reminded that for seven months, Russia did not take response measures after the mass expulsion of Russian diplomats in December 2016 and the seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the US. "Our reaction only followed when in August 2017, Russia was declared America’s adversary at the legislative level," the ministry pointed out.