The Russian Foreign Ministry has unveiled the Kremlin's response to the recently introduced US sanctions. The move includes actions against the American diplomatic mission in Russia as well as US officials.
- Moscow said that both countries’ envoys should hold consultations with their superiors amid the current situation, thus also recommending that US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan return to Washington for this purpose.
- 10 American diplomats will be expelled from the country.
- Russia is launching the procedure to withdraw from an earlier agreement allowing diplomats of the two countries to travel outside the cities where they are based.
- Moscow will ban US diplomatic facilities from hiring Russians and third-country citizens. The Russian Foreign Ministry will also reduce the number of short-term visas it issues to American diplomats.
- The Kremlin also added eight members of the current and former US administrations involved in the "development and implementation of the anti-Russian course" in American politics to the no-entry list.
- In addition, Moscow will be banning the operations of US foundations working in Russia with the aim of meddling in the country’s domestic politics.
The list of eight people who have been banned from entering Russia includes six current Biden administration officials: FBI Director Christopher Wray, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons Michael Carvajal, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, and Director of the Domestic Policy Council Susan Rice. In addition to them, the Russian ministry added Trump's former National Security Adviser John Bolton and Bill Clinton-era CIA chief Robert James Woolsey Jr. to the blacklist.
The Russian Foreign Ministry added that Moscow will respond to each and every "sanctions wave" from Washington. It further said that Washington's policy of "containing Moscow" is "short-sighted" and risks further deteriorating Russia-US ties.
The Foreign Ministry stressed that the measures it is introducing are "not done by choice" and underscored that Moscow still wishes to avoid further confrontation with the US. Instead, it seeks "a calm and professional dialogue" with Washington, the ministry added.
The measures targeting the US came in response to a new round of sanctions that the White House announced on 15 April. Washington slapped several Russian citizens and companies allegedly connected to the massive SolarWinds hack and purported meddling in the US election in 2020. The US also banned domestic investors from buying Russian bonds during their initial offering, but allowed them to be purchased on the secondary market. US President Joe Biden said that the sanctions could have been harsher, but he chose to keep them at the current level to leave room for dialogue.