Russia barred top U.S. security officials from entering the country, just one day after President Biden launched sweeping sanctions and expelled 10 Russian diplomats.
The Russian Foreign Ministry claimed the move was not in reaction to Thursday’s sanctions, but rather sanctions instated on March 2 for the poisoning and imprisonment of Aleksey Navalny.
Eight officials including the Director of US National Intelligence Avril Haines, FBI Director Christopher Wray, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Brian Garland, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Director of Biden’s Domestic Policy Council Susan Rice, have all been barred from entering Russia for their actions targeting “anti-Russia policy.”
Former National Security Advisor John Bolton and former CIA Director Robert James Woolsey have also been forbidden from entering Russia.
The ministry called the recent tension between the U.S. and Russia “unprecedented complications” that have been “provoked by Washington.”
“We have repeatedly warned and demonstrated in practice that sanctions and any other pressure will never succeed and will only have dire consequences for those who dare attempt such provocations,” the foreign ministry said in a statement Friday.
Biden launched the most recent round of sanctions earlier this week, following reports of Russian involvement in cyberattacks and election meddling last year.
“I was clear with President Putin that we could have gone further, but I chose not to do so” and “chose to be proportionate,” Biden said Thursday. “The United States is not looking to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia. We want a stable, predictable relationship.”
The U.S. expelled 10 diplomats from their borders Friday.
“The latest attack by the Biden administration against our country cannot go unanswered,” the ministry said in a statement. “Now is the time for the United States to show common sense and pull back from this confrontational course.”
The foreign office threatened to reduce the number of American diplomatic personal in Russia from 455 to 300 if the U.S. did not reverse their “spiraling sanctions.”
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The Russiasn also said that they may use what means they could to hit the U.S. economically, but said they prefer to find ways of “normalizing bilateral ties.”
The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News’ questions.