Russia sanctions Kamala Harris, Mark Zuckerberg, Toronto mayor

The latest raft of sanctions includes more US officials, media personalities and Canada’s John Tory and Doug Ford.

Kamala Harris
Harris is among the US and Canadian officials targeted in the latest round of Russian sanctions [File: Susan Walsh/AP Photo]

Russia has issued fresh retaliatory sanctions, including travel bans on United States Vice President Kamala Harris, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford and Toronto’s Mayor John Tory.

The wide-ranging list of 29 Americans and 61 Canadians released on Thursday includes several other members of the US administration of President Joe Biden and Canadian President Justin Trudeau’s government, as well as several prominent media figures.

Russia’s foreign ministry said the list comprised people responsible for the US and Canada’s “Russophobic” policies following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which started on February 24.

The sanctions come after a previous round of sanctions barred US President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from entering Russia.

Russia shared the new punitive actions shortly after Biden announced the latest round of military aid to Ukraine, an additional $800m that included more heavy artillery as well as tactical “Ghost” drones.

The latest package brings total aid to Ukraine to more than $3bn since the invasion began.

Biden also announced that Russian ships would be banned from all US ports.

“This is yet another critical step we are taking in concert with our partners in the European Union, United Kingdom and Canada in further to deny Russia the benefits of the international economic system that they so enjoyed in the past,” he said.

Beyond Harris, the latest Biden administration officials targeted by Russia include Pentagon spokesman John Kirby and Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks.

The list of Canadians is headed by Cameron Ahmad, who serves as director of communications to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Canadian Special Operations Forces Commander Steve Boivin.

The US list also included prominent media figures, targeting ABC News television presenter George Stephanopoulos, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius and the Russia-focused Meduza news site’s editor Kevin Rothrock.

Western sanctions have sought to bleed Moscow’s economy and international influence amid the continuing invasion. They have also targeted members of Putin’s inner circle, family and closely aligned oligarchs.

On Tuesday, Canada became the most recent country to sanction Putin’s adult daughters, who have been accused of hiding their father’s wealth.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies