Russia has banned 18 US officials from entering the country in retaliation for Washington ' s move to publish a list of Russian officials targeted for sanctions under the so - called " Magnitsky Act. "
Russian Foreign Ministry on Saturday released its own blacklist of American officials "implicated in human rights violations." "The war of lists is not our choice, but we cannot ignore outright blackmail," said the ministry in a statement. The move came a day after Moscow warned that the publication of the sanctions list by the American officials "will unquestionably have a very negative impact on Russian-US bilateral relations." The Russian Foreign Ministry added that the Russian blacklist "primarily includes those who are implicated in legalization of torture and perpetual detentions in Guantanamo prison, to the arrests and kidnapping of Russian citizens." David Spears Addington, the chief of staff for former Vice President Dick Cheney; the US district judge Jed Rakoff, FBI agent Gregory Coleman as well as Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller and Ad. Jeffrey Harbeson -- two former commanders of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp -- are among those named in the list. Moscow has already denied entry to a former US senior commander at the notorious Guantanamo prison camp in Cuba where the United States keeps terror suspects. On January 1, Russian lawmakers enforced, among other sanctions, a ban on Americans adopting Russian children in retaliation to the US passing of the Magnitsky Act. The Magnitsky Act was passed in the US on December 6, containing financial sanctions and visa bans against Russian officials suspected of ties to the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in jail in 2009, as well as Russian officials allegedly guilty of "gross violations of human rights."