Sean Penn and Ben Stiller permanently banned from entering Russia over support for Ukraine

Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and a number of US senators are also included in the new sanctions list

Sean Penn and Ben Stiller permanently banned from entering Russia over support for Ukraine
Ben Stiller and Sean Penn, outspoken critics of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, have been forbidden from entering Russia (Sarah Stier/Getty Images and Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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MOSCOW, RUSSIA: 25 Americans, including 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' stars Ben Stiller and Sean Penn, have been forbidden from entering Russia forever owing to their pro-Ukraine stances.

The United States had previously imposed extraordinary sanctions and export limits in order to hold President Vladimir Putin responsible for his war against Ukraine, limit Russia's access to crucial technologies it needs to fund its war machine, and make Russia a financial pariah. The Russian Foreign Ministry retaliated on Monday, September 5, by announcing a few personal restrictions against a handful of Americans.

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***EXCLUSIVE***  Actor Sean Penn (L) speaks to actors Ben Stiller (2L), Demi Moore, (L) and Director-Producer Paul Haggis look on during a visit at a camp for internally displaced persons managed by actor Sean Penn and his Jenkins-Penn Humanitarian Relief Organization  on April 12, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The group, Artists for Peace and Justice is working to rebuild Haiti�s education system
Sean Penn (L) speaks to Ben Stiller (2L), Demi Moore, (R) and Paul Haggis look on during a visit at a camp on April 12, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Artists For Peace And Justice)

Penn and Stiller have been outspoken critics of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Penn gives his time to a variety of causes, including humanitarian ones. He was in Ukraine in February shooting for a VICE documentary exposing the Russian invasion. Penn subsequently stated that he had thought about serving in the Ukrainian military to combat Russia.

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On Tuesday, March 1, Penn shared a picture of himself on Twitter that showed him trudging along a roadside shoulder next to a line of oncoming cars while carrying a rucksack and a piece of luggage with wheels. "Myself and two colleagues walked miles to the Polish border after abandoning our car on the side of the road," Penn wrote.


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He added, "Almost all the cars in this photo carry women and children only, most without any sign of luggage, and a car their only possession of value." On the other hand, Stiller, a goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, referred to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as "my hero" after visiting Ukraine on World Refugee Day.

Gina Raimondo, the Secretary of Commerce for the United States, and a number of senators, including Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Rick Scott of Florida, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, were also included on the new sanctions list.

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According to the Foreign Ministry of Russia, the group, which also includes academic professors, government officials, and business executives, would never again be allowed to enter the country. President Joe Biden and his family, as well as lawmakers and business executives, have all been targets of Russian sanctions in the past. In response, the US administration has imposed sanctions on a number of Russians, including business and political leaders.

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U.S. president Joe Biden (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet during the U.S.-Russia summit at Villa La Grange on June 16, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland. Biden is meeting his Russian counterpart, Putin, for the first time as president in Geneva, Switzerland.
U.S. president Joe Biden (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet during the U.S.-Russia summit at Villa La Grange on June 16, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland (Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty Images)

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