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Posted: Thursday, 20 March 2014 4:15PM

Russia announces sanctions against Sen. Landrieu, other U.S. officials



Russia slapped a travel ban Thursday on nine U.S. lawmakers and officials, the first retaliation against the United States for its sanctions against Russia for annexing Crimea.  

The Russian Foreign Ministry made the move minutes after President Barack Obama announced a new round of sanctions. The ministry said "the use of sanctions is a double-edged sword that will boomerang against the United States.''

Members of the Obama administration that Vladimir Putin's government sanctioned include Caroline Atkinson, a deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs; Daniel Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to Obama; and Benjamin Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser.  

These three officials conceivably played a role in crafting the specific sanctions. The White House is aware of their inclusion on Russia's sanctions list but declined comment.

The members of the House and Senate on the receiving end of the sanctions include House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada).

Sen. Mary Landrieu also makes the list. As the head of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Louisiana Democrat can influence U.S. policy on petroleum and natural gas, two natural resources that Russia also exports.  Landrieu has also been critical of the Russian government after it ended American adoptions of Russian children.

Senators John McCain (R-Arizona), Dan Coats (R-Indiana) and Robert Mendez (D-New Jersey) were also included in the Russian travel ban.

Landrieu today issued this statement in response:

"Being sanctioned by President Putin is a badge of honor," Sen. Landrieu said. "It will not stop me from using my power as chair of the Energy Committee to promote America as an energy superpower and help increase energy exports around the world. We must minimize Russia’s influence over Europe, the former Soviet states—especially Ukraine that has fought so long for freedom—and our allies. And it most certainly will not stop me from advocating for orphans in Russia and around the world."
 

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