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MOSCOW’S STOP LIST

White House makes light of Russia’s retaliatory sanctions

Jen Psaki, White House press secretary. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Al Drago / POOL)

The White House on Tuesday made light of Russia's retaliatory sanctions against US officials, saying Moscow may have inadvertently sanctioned the deceased father of Joe Biden by omitting the suffix ‘junior' from the spelling of the US president's name.

Russia said on Tuesday it had placed Biden, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, CIA chief William Burns, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, White House press secretary Jen Psaki and a handful of other US officials on a “stop list” that bars them from entering the country.

“President Biden is a junior, so they may have sanctioned his dad, may he rest in peace” Psaki said. “None of us is planning tourist trips to Russia, none of us has bank accounts that we won’t be able to access, so we will forge ahead,” she added.

Aimed at retaliating against US sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, the move appeared largely symbolic, since Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it was maintaining official relations and, if necessary, would make sure that high-level contacts with the listed individuals could take place.

“I think we are confident that if we need to have … direct and indirect conversations with Russia, we will be able to do that.”

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