More than a year after it began its war in Ukraine, Russia is now cracking down on American citizens.
Russia through its president has banned "500 Americans", including former US President Barack Obama, from entering the country.
A new list has been released with hundreds of prominent figures included from the US that are now being stopped from coming into the country by its head of state H.E Vladimir Putin.
The statement, which also contains a list of names of US citizens permanently included in the “shutdown list”, was released by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“It is high time Washington learned that not a single hostile attack on Russia will remain without a strong reaction.
The principle of inevitability of punishment will be applied consistently, whether it is tougher punishments or discriminatory measures to hamper the professional activities of our fellow citizens,” part of the statement from the ministry said.
It now maintains that the decision to ban them is in response to U.S. sanctions.
The list of names includes former US President Obama, as well as well former US Ambassador Jon Huntsman, several US senators and the next expected chairman of the joint chiefs Charles Q. Brown Jr.
US late night TV hosts, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, CBS’ Stephen Colbert and NBC’s Seth Meyers have been permanently banned from Russia, while CNN's Anchor Erin Burnett is also featured on the newly-released list.
The statement also said: "The attached ‘list-500’ also includes those in government and law enforcement agencies who are directly involved in the persecution of dissidents in the wake of the so-called Storming the Capitol."
The list is an updated version of a list of sanctioned people that had previously been published.
Last year, Russia banned Ben Stiller, Morgan Freeman and Sean Penn from the country in similarly vague circumstances (Stiller and Penn had recently visited Ukraine before they were banned).
The ministry also said that it had denied a U.S. consular visit for Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, citing a U.S. government refusal to issue visas to Russian journalists that were to accompany Foreign Minister Lavrov to a U.N. meeting.