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Kremlin Blacklists 13 Americans In Tit-For-Tat Over U.S. Sanctions

By NPR Staff | 07/19/2014

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET.

Moscow has issued a quid pro quo for sanctions imposed on it by Washington, banning a U.S. congressman and 12 other Americans from entering Russia.

NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports that the Foreign Ministry in Moscow says the new blacklist is in response to U.S. visa restrictions on Russian citizens in the wake of Moscow's annexation of Crimea and its continuing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Virginia Democrat Rep. Jim Moran, who announced in January that he would retire at the end of the year, is on the list. Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Moran had been repeatedly accused of financial misdeeds but did not elaborate, according to The Associated Press.

In a statement, Moran said he has no plans to travel to Russia and speculated that his name was "due to my amendment banning the US purchase of helicopters from Rosoboronexport, the Russian state arms dealer and principal supplier to the Assad regime in Syria."

Twelve other U.S. citizens connected with either the Guantanamo Bay detention center or the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq are on Russia's visa blacklist.

The U.S. Treasury Department announced similar bans against a Russian lawmaker earlier this month.
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