Image Source: LA Times
Nearly 1,000 American citizens, including actor Morgan Freeman, have been permanently barred from entering Russia.
The country’s foreign ministry produced a list of 963 American individuals forbidden from entering the country because they support US-imposed “anti-Russian sanctions” just three months after Russia invaded Ukraine.
According to The Washington Post, the “stop list” includes US Vice President Joe Biden, journalists, deceased congressmen, Freeman, and fellow actor and filmmaker Rob Reiner.
“In response to the United States’ ongoing anti-Russian sanctions and in response to incoming requests about the personal composition of our national’stop list,’ the Russian Foreign Ministry publishes a list of American citizens who are permanently barred from entering the Russian Federation,” the ministry said in a statement.
The cause for the ban, according to Russia, dates back to September 2017, when the 84-year-old “made a video message accusing Russia of conspiring against the US and advocating for a struggle against our country.”
Freeman had narrated a public service announcement for the Committee to Investigate Russia, an organization formed to raise awareness about Moscow’s intervention in the 2016 US presidential election, which saw Hillary Clinton lose to Donald Trump.
“We’ve been attacked,” Freeman stated in it. We’re in the middle of a conflict. Imagine the scenario of a film in which a former KGB spy plots his vengeance after his motherland’s downfall. He rises up the ranks of a post-Soviet Russia, taking advantage of the disarray, and eventually becomes president.
“He installs an autocratic system, then turns his attention to his long-time foe: the United States.”
Reiner is apparently being barred because he is “one of the creators of the Internet resource Investigate Russia (investigaterussia.com).”
The now-defunct Committee was created by the director of A Few Good Men, who is also on the board of directors of the NGO.
Other notable names on the “stop list” include Nancy Pelosi, Ted Cruz, Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez, president Joe Biden’s son Hunter, Mark Zuckerberg, George Stephanopoulous of ABC News, and a number of deceased US senators, including John McCain, Harry M Reid, and Orrin G Hatch.
Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement that it was “open to honest, mutually respectful conversation, distinguishing the American people, whom we always respect, from US authorities who instigate Russophobia and those who serve them.”
The “black list” reportedly includes US people from “all walks of life,” including an LGBT+ activist, rabbis, and a Yale University professor, according to the Washington Post.
Former President Donald Trump is not on the list of Americans who have been barred from entering the country, but former Vice President Mike Pence is.