In retaliation for sanctions imposed against Russia by President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin has banned key United States congress members from entering the country, reports The Hill.
The nine U.S. officials banned are: John Boehner (R-Ohio), Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics Caroline Atkinson, senior White House adviser Daniel Pfeiffer, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Dan Coats (R-Ind.).
Read more from The Hill:
Russia made the move after President Obama announced new sanctions on Thursday in response to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine. The U.S. sanctions target 20 Russian officials and businessman and effectively freeze Bank Rossiya, Russia’s 17th largest bank and the one used by high officials, from any transactions in the dollar.
Boehner welcomed the move.
“The Speaker is proud to be included on a list of those willing to stand against Putin’s aggression,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.
Menendez said that “if standing up for the Ukrainian people, their freedom, their hard earned democracy, and sovereignty means I’m sanctioned by Putin, so be it.”
In a stunning political twist, both 2008 GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney were right on their strong positions against Russia, even as they were mocked by President Obama.
In March of 2012, Romney told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Russia was the United States’ “biggest geopolitical foe” and that he found President Obama’s willingness to negotiate with then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev “alarming”:
“Who is it that always stands up with the world’s worst actors? It’s always Russia, typically with China alongside. In terms of a geopolitical foe, a nation that’s on the Security Council, and as of course a massive nuclear power, Russia is the geopolitical foe. The idea that our president is planning on doing something with them that he’s not willing to tell the American people before the election is something I find very, very alarming,” Romney said.
Palin took to her Facebook page on March 3 with the following message:
Yes, I could see this one from Alaska. I’m usually not one to Told-Ya-So, but I did, despite my accurate prediction being derided as “an extremely far-fetched scenario” by the “high-brow” Foreign Policy magazine. Here’s what this “stupid” “insipid woman” predicted back in 2008: “After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”
Due to the heightened tensions over Ukraine, Russian arms inspectors were due to travel to the United States on Monday to ensure that there have been no violations of the 2010 New START treaty.
With the Cold War era atmosphere continuing to escalate, President Obama is probably rethinking at least a few of these words:
“Gov. Romney, I’m glad you recognize al-Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what is the biggest geopolitical group facing America, you said Russia, not al-Qaida,” Obama said. “You said Russia. And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back. Because the Cold War has been over for 20 years. But Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policy of the 1950s, and the economic policies of the 1920s.”
Well, two out of three isn’t bad.
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