Russia to impose visa bans on US citizens in retaliation

Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday Moscow would retaliate against the United States' most recent sanctions over Ukraine by denying entry to several U.S. citizens.

"Retaliatory measures definitely will be taken. First of all, a similar number of Americans will be prohibited from entering (Russia)," the ministry's spokesman Alexander Lukashevich was quoted in a statement as saying.

Lukashevich did not give names of those who would be denied entry.

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This week U.S. President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on some of Russia's biggest firms for the first time, as well as four Russian government officials and prime minister of the self-styled Donetsk People's Republic in Ukraine.

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Lukashevich also said Moscow had extended a visa ban on U.S. Representative Jim Moran following U.S. sanctions earlier this month against Russian State Duma lower house of parliament member, Adam Delimkhanov.

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"We have repeatedly stated that it is useless to talk to us in the language of sanctions. Such steps will not remain without consequences. When it comes to the visa restrictions, the reaction is usually mirrored," he said.

"As to economic restrictions they anyway have a boomerang effect and will inevitably do harm to American business focused on the Russian market."

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The ministry also published the names of 12 Americans who had been added to the "stop-list" in response to the sanctioning by the United States of 12 Russians under the Magnitsky rule for human rights violations on May 20.

The list includes the U.S. Guantanamo Bay detention camp's commander Rear Admiral Richard Butler.