Members of the State Duma, lower parliament chamber, listens to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, seen on the screen, prior their voting during a plenary session in Moscow, Russia, today. The Kremlin-controlled State Duma voted to allow Crimea to join Russia following a quick discussion in which members of the Kremlin-controlled chamber assailed the Ukrainian authorities. The merger needs to be rubber stamped by the upper house and signed by President Vladimir Putin, mere formalities expected to be completed by the end of the week.
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MOSCOW — Russia today imposed entry bans on nine U.S. lawmakers and officials in response to Washington’s sanctions over Crimea, the first retaliatory strike by Moscow.
The Russian Foreign Ministry today released the list that includes House Speaker House Speaker John Boehner, (R., Ohio) and Sen. Bob Menendez, (D., N.J.), the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
It also names Ben Rhodes, a deputy U.S. national security adviser along with other White House advisers, Caroline Atkinson and Dan Pfeiffer, along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D., Nev.) and Senators John McCain, (R., Ariz.), Mary Landrieu, (D., La.) and Dan Coats, (R, Ind.).
The Russian Foreign Ministry misspelled Reid’s name as Reed.
The move came minutes after President Barack Obama introduced a new round of U.S. sanctions, including some senior Kremlin officials and lawmakers along with businessmen close to President Vladimir Putin.
“There should be no doubt, we will respond in kind to any hostile action,” the Foreign Ministry said. “We have warned repeatedly that the use of sanctions is a double-edged sword that will boomerang against the United States.”