Sean Penn and Ben Stiller have been permanently banned from entering Russia. The two actors appear on the list of 25 ‘high-ranking officials, representatives of the business and expert communities, as well as cultural figures’ who have been barred by Russia’s foreign ministry.
The Kremlin has imposed personal sanctions on these individuals in response to the sanctions issued by the US administration over Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Penn and Stiller have been very vocal about their support for Ukraine over the last few months and even visited the war-torn country.
Russian Foreign Ministry Bans 25 US Citizens
The Kremlin released a statement on Monday that read, “In response to the ever-expanding personal sanctions by the Biden Administration against Russian citizens, against another group of persons from among members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking officials, representatives of the business and expert communities, as well as cultural figures (25 people), a ban on entry into the Russian Federation on a permanent basis.”
The ministry further said it was banning the individual based on ‘the principle of reciprocity’. Apart from Penn and Stiller, the list includes senators Kirsten Cinema, Richard Scott, Patrick Toomey Jr. and Mark Kelly, Deputy Ministers of Trade Matthew S. Alexrod, Don Graves, Thea Kandler and Jeremy Pelter, and Minister of Commerce Gina Raimondo.
The bilateral ties between the US and Russia have been severely damaged ever since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February this year. The statement by the Russian Ministry further read, “The hostile actions of the American authorities, which continue to follow a Russophobic course, destroying bilateral ties and escalating confrontation between Russia and the United States, will continue to be resolutely rebuffed.”
Sean Penn Visited Ukraine Earlier this Year
Penn has been a strong advocate for the rights of the Ukrainian people amind the country’s war with Russia. In February, he traveled to Kyiv and met Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. He even filmed a documentary about the country’s conflict with Russia during his visit.
The 62 year old actor then released a statement that read, “Already a brutal mistake of lives taken and hearts broken, and if he doesn’t relent, I believe Mr. Putin will have made a most horrible mistake for all of humankind.”
“President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people have risen as historic symbols of courage and principle. Ukraine is the tip of the spear for the democratic embrace of dreams. If we allow it to fight alone, our soul as America is lost,” Penn added.
Stiller Met with Ukrainian Refugees in June
As a goodwill ambassador of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Ben Stiller visited Ukrainian Refugees in Poland in June this year. He then went to Kyiv and met with President Zelensky, and also visited the occupied settlements in the city.
Stiller said after his visit, “I was really taken by the resilience of the people of Ukraine, and of the President. His incredible sense of how he has risen to the moment and offered his people leadership and true resolve to get through this awful situation.”
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