In an attempt to mock his counterpart in the west, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday announced he would release a sanctions list of his own. Mr. Putin plans on banning several officials, and U.S. Senators from; traveling, holding assets, and conducting business in Russia.
Several U.S. Senators, who believe they are in the crosshairs of Mr. Putin's sanctions, joked about being the target of his retaliation. According to The Daily Beast, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, is high on Mr. Putins list.
Mr. Durbin told The Daily Beast in a tongue in cheek statement Monday: "My Lithuanian born mother would be proud her son made Vladimir Putin's enemies list."
Other likely candidates are: Senator John McCain (R-AZ) who is urging President Obama to immediately send arms and military supplies to the Ukraine for defense against further aggression from Putin forces. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Bob Corker (R-TN), the leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who are leading the sanctions drive in the Senate, and Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for Europe. Ms Nuland has been involved in working with the Ukrainian opposition that ousted President Yanokovich.
There is still speculation as to who is on the list, but many believe it will mirror, President Obama's list. Mr Putin is scheduled to address Russia's parliament on Tuesday.
Update Thursday March 20, 2014
As expected, the Russian Foreign Minister announced Russia's own sanctions against top U.S. officials and lawmakers, in retaliation to U.S. sanctions on Russian Officials.
The list includes:
U.S. Senator John McCain
House Speaker John Boehner
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid
U.S. Senator Daniel Coats
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez
U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu
U.S. Presidential Aide Daniel Pfeiffer
U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes
U.S. National Security Advisor Caroline Atkinson
In a related issue, President Obama announced today, additional sanctions on 20 Russians including Mr. Putin's Chief of Staff and his lifelong friends.
During a news conference at the White House, President Obama said he also signed an executive order that would allow the U.S. to penalize key sectors of Russia's economy. However he reiterated that "diplomacy between the United States and Russia continue."