California Observer

Morgan Freeman and over 900 other American citizens permanently banned from Russia

Image Source: LA Times

Nearly 1,000 US people, including actor Morgan Freeman, have been permanently barred from entering Russia. 

The country’s foreign ministry released a list of 963 American individuals forbidden from entering the country due to their support for US-imposed “anti-Russian sanctions” on Saturday (21 May), just three months after Russia invaded Ukraine. 

According to The Washington Post, the “stop list” includes US President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, journalists, deceased congressmen, Freeman, and fellow actor and filmmaker Rob Reiner. 

“In response to the US’s ongoing anti-Russian sanctions and in response to incoming requests about the personal composition of our national’stop list,’ the Russian Foreign Ministry publishes a list of American citizens who are permanently barred from entering the Russian Federation,” the ministry said in a statement. 

The reason for Freeman’s exclusion, described by Russia as a “well-known actor,” is said to date back to September 2017, when the 84-year-old “made a video message accusing Russia of conspiring against the United States and calling for a struggle against our country.” 

Freeman had narrated a public service announcement for the Committee to Investigate Russia, an organization formed to raise awareness about Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, which saw Hillary Clinton lose to Donald Trump. 

“We have been attacked,” Freeman remarked in it. We’re at odds. Imagine the following movie plot: a former KGB spy plots vengeance when his homeland falls apart. He rises through the ranks of a post-Soviet Russia, taking advantage of the disarray, to become president. 

“He installs an autocratic system, then turns his attention to his long-time foe, the United States.” 

Reiner was apparently barred because he was “one of the founders of the Internet portal Investigate Russia (investigaterussia.com).” 

The nonprofit organization’s board of directors includes the director of A Few Good Men, who formed the now-defunct Committee. 

Other notable names on the “stop list” include Nancy Pelosi, Ted Cruz, Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez, president Joe Biden’s son Hunter, Mark Zuckerberg, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulous, and a number of deceased US senators, including John McCain, Harry M Reid, and Orrin G Hatch. 

Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement that it was “open to honest, mutually respectful conversation, distinguishing the American people, whom we always respect, from the US authorities who instigate Russophobia, and those who assist them.” 

The “black list” includes US residents from “all walks of life,” according to the Washington Post, including an LGBT+ activist, rabbis, and a Yale University professor. 

This list of banned Americans does not include former President Donald Trump, but it does include former Vice President Mike Pence.

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