03/21/14 Responding to American sanctions of President Vladimir Putinâ€™s inner circle, the Russian government announced its own list Thursday, in an indication of how the Kremlin views who holds the power in Washington.
Heading up the list are three White House aides: senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer, and deputy national security advisers Ben Rhodes and Caroline Atkinson.
Also targeted for sanctions are Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
â€śThe Speaker is proud to be included on a list of those willing to stand against Putinâ€™s aggression,â€ť said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Washingtonâ€™s most vocal Russia hawk and the leader of a Senate delegation to Ukraine last week, made the list, but Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who was the most prominent Democrat on the trip, did not.
Senate Foreign Relations Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) also drew Russiaâ€™s attention, as did Indiana Republican Sen. Dan Coats.
â€śWhile Iâ€™m disappointed that I wonâ€™t be able to go on vacation with my family in Siberia this summer, I am honored to be on this list,â€ť Coats said in a statement. â€śPutinâ€™s recent aggression is unacceptable, and America must join with our European allies to isolate and punish Russia. I will continue to lead efforts on Capitol Hill to bring Putin to his senses.â€ť
Though the Russians have essentially laughed off the sanctions imposed by the White House, an administration official Thursday morning dismissed that as â€śbluster,â€ť saying theyâ€™re feeling the pain.
At this point, the impact of the sanctions isnâ€™t at all clear â€”the Russians that the American sanctions targeted, according to administration officials, had holdings in international accounts that can be impeded or frozen. That does not seem to be the case for the nine Americans in Putinâ€™s sights.
â€śIf standing up for #democracy & sovereignty in #Ukraine means Iâ€™m #SanctionedByPutin, Iâ€™ll take it,â€ť Menendez tweeted.
Provided by Senator Coatsâ€™ officeÂ
By: Edward-Isaac Dovere