Russia Sanctions 500 Americans, including Obama


Russia has hit back at the International Criminal Court (ICC) after in March it issued a warrant for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which quickly resulted in a handful of European countries saying they would willingly enforce it if Putin ever landed in their territory.

Moscow has now issued its own arrest warrant for top prosecutor at the Hague-based court Karim Khan. Russia’s Interior Ministry even officially added his photograph and file to its “wanted list” in the ministry’s database on Friday. This came also amid travel sanctions announced against a massive list of Americans and top officials.

Khan is a citizen of the United Kingdom, and Russia previously warned he was being investigated for “criminal prosecution of a person known to be innocent” – a reference to Putin and the ICC’s arrest warrant. 

However, the new wanted notice didn’t specify Khan’s offense. These tit-for-tat warrants are of course largely symbolic, but could possibly make international travel plans a matter of extra planning and caution, given Khan is now effectively banned from ever entering (or perhaps flying over) Russian territory, where he would be arrested.

The ICC warrant against Putin, at the same time, makes the possibility of diplomacy and dialogue ever more distant. 

Russia has also just announced a massive and growing list of Americans barred from ever entering the country, as The Washington Times details

Former President Barack Obama, late-night television hosts, lawmakers and journalists, including from The Washington Times, are among “500 Americans” that Russia has banned from entering the country.

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the move was made “in a response to the regularly anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the Joe Biden administration.” 

The Foreign Ministry said the list – which includes 45 members of the U.S. House, Sens. J.D. Vance of Ohio, Katie Britt of Alabama and Eric Schmit of Missouri – was composed of people who spread Russophobia, and supplied Ukraine with arms.

Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, a columnist and commentary section editor at The Washington Times, was among the blackballed members of the media. Nick Paton Walsh, a CNN reporter and British citizen, was on the list.

Late-night comedians Jimmy Kimmell, Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers are also on the list, along with former US Ambassador Jon Huntsman.

As irony would have it, US President Biden and other world leaders are meeting in Hiroshima, Japan for the G7 summit to denounce Russia and China to de-escalate nuclear posturing. Hiroshima is a city nuked by the US in WW2.