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21 Apr, 2022 15:08

Mark Zuckerberg barred from Russia

The Facebook mogul is among 29 US politicians, executives and media figures blacklisted by Moscow
Mark Zuckerberg barred from Russia

Responding to US sanctions against Russian government officials and their family members, Moscow has sanctioned 29 US citizens, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Vice President Kamala Harris. They are banned from entering Russia indefinitely.

The “executives, businessmen, experts and journalists who shape the Russophobic agenda, as well as the spouses of a number of high-ranking officials” are being banned in response to anti-Russian sanctions affecting families of officials, scientists, cultural and business figures, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

In addition to Zuckerberg, Moscow has blacklisted LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky, as well as the presidents and CEOs of military industry giants Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, L3 Harris Technologies, Leidos, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Aerojet Rocketdyne. Shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries and drone-maker AeroVironment have also been sanctioned. The director of the Mitchell Institute of Aerospace Studies and the president of the Bank of America were also on the blacklist.

Moscow also sanctioned US politicians and their spouses, starting with Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klein, State Department spokesman Ned Price, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, vice-chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Christopher W. Grady, and the deputy health secretary, listed as “Richard/Rachel Levine.”

Russian sanctions also named Evan Ryan, spouse of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Margaret Goodlander, wife of National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. Both hold posts in the Biden administration, Ryan as the White House cabinet secretary and Goodlander as an adviser to the Justice Department. Robert Kagan, husband of Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, rounds off the sanctioned spouses list.

Bringing up the rear are media personalities the Foreign Ministry accused of “shaping the Russophobic agenda.” These include ABC host George Stephanopoulos, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, CNN analyst Bianna Golodryga, as well as “Meduza” editor Kevin Rothrock, along with two experts from the Woodrow Wilson Center and the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center think tanks.

Further sanctions announcements can be expected in the near future as countermeasures against the hostile actions of US authorities, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Russia has already sanctioned Blinken, Sullivan, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley, CIA Director William Burns, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, as well as President Joe Biden himself and his son Hunter. They were put on Moscow’s blacklist in mid-March, in response to US sanctions.