Actors Ben Stiller and Sean Penn are among 25 U.S. citizens newly sanctioned by Russia in retaliation for United States sanctions on different Russian people more than six months into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Also included in the list, posted on the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s website, were several senators, including Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Pat Toomey (R-PA). Other people on the list included government figures, academics, and business leaders considered hostile to Russia. All will be permanently banned from entering Russia, according to the Associated Press.
“As a measure in response to the ever-expanding personal sanctions on Russian citizens by Joe Biden’s administration a permanent ban to enter the Russian Federation has been imposed on another group of US Congress members, high-ranking officials, members of the business and expert community and cultural figures (25 people),” the ministry said in the statement.
“The hostile actions of the US government, which continue to follow a Russophobic course, destroying bilateral ties and escalating confrontation between Russia and the US, will continue to receive a decisive rebuff,” it added.
Stiller and Penn have both been vocal critics of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and both have visited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in person. Stiller met with Zelensky in June, describing him as his “hero.” Penn met with the Ukrainian president just a week later, according to the New York Post, resulting in a glowing message of praise from Zelensky.
“Sean, thank you for the support of our state and our people!” Zelensky told Penn on his Telegram.