Hours after the Obama administration announced sanctions against several Russian and Ukrainian officials over the Crimea crisis, Russia indicated that it would return fire with a handful of sanctions against U.S. officials. Those sanctions, first reported by the Daily Beast, will likely include Senator Dick Durbin.
The Russian list will apparently mirror that of the Obama administration, and those on the list will be barred from visiting Russia. Durbin's inclusion is supposed to be a retaliation for the sanctions against Valentina Matvienko, who heads the upper house of the Russian Duma.
While the final list is still being crafted, it will include top Obama administration officials and high profile U.S. senators, in an effort to roughly mirror the U.S. sanctions against Russian officials and lawmakers, according to diplomatic sources.
The list could also include Senate Foreign Relations Committee leaders Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Bob Corker (R-TN), and Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Victoria Nuland. Also: John McCain, who when reached for comment by Daily Beast seemed pretty pumped about the idea of being on the sanctions list:
“You think I’m not going to be on it?” McCain said. “I would be honored to be on that list.”
McCain said he would not be impacted financially by being subject to a visa ban and asset freeze in the Russian Federation.
“I guess I’m going to have to try to withdraw my money from my secret account in St. Petersburg,” he joked.
The list could be released as soon as Tuesday.
On Monday, President Obama announced new sanctions against Russian officials who were "responsible for undermining the sovereignty, territorial integrity and government of Ukraine." The president added that "if Russia continues to interfere in Ukraine, we stand ready to impose further sanctions."
The Daily Beast also reported that Press Secretary Jay Carney (who is rumored to be stepping down soon) was "rumored" to be asking for Russian Ambassador Mike McFaul's job. But Carney has denied that the report is true.