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Russia on Saturday released a list of 963 Americans it said were barred from entering the country, a punctuation of previously announced measures against President Joe Biden and other top US officials.

The country, which received global condemnation for its February 24 invasion of Ukraine, said it would continue to retaliate against what it said were hostile U.S. actions, Reuters reported.

The lifetime bans imposed on Americans, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and CIA chief William Burns, are largely symbolic .

They came on the same day Biden signed a support package providing nearly $40bn (£32bn) in aid to Ukraine.

But Russia’s latest move is part of a downward spiral in the country’s relations with the West since its invasion of Ukraine, which prompted Washington and its allies to impose drastic sanctions on Moscow and step up food deliveries. weapons to the Ukrainian army.

Several people on the Russian government’s list of undesirables would not have been able to make the trip anyway: they are already dead.

John McCain, former Republican presidential candidate and longtime senator; Democrat Harry Reid, who served as Senate Majority Leader from 2007 to 2015; and Orrin Hatch, whose 42 years in the House made him the longest serving Republican senator in history; are all included.

McCain died in August 2018 at the age of 81; Reid died last December, aged 82; and Hatch died on April 23 at age 88.

Notably, Donald Trump, who as president from 2017 to 2021 sought a close relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, is missing from the banned list.

Others who are still very much alive, but now banned from Russia for perceived slights against Putin or his regime, are actor Morgan Freeman, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, British journalist and CNN correspondent Nick Paton Walsh, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of the DreamWorks Animation Studio.

Last month, the Russian Foreign Ministry banned Boris Johnson, Liz Truss, Ben Wallace and 10 other members of the British government from entering the country.

The department said the decision was made “in view of the unprecedented hostile action by the UK Government”.

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