As the Ukrainian-Russian war worsens, many sanctions have been put on Vladamir Putin’s country in reaction to their continuing incursion into what was previously known as “Little Russia.”
Among the measures include a prohibition on providing technology for oil and gas exploration, another on providing financing to Russian oil corporations and state banks, and travel restrictions on close associates of President Putin and those implicated in the takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea.
However, Russia has not taken the sanctions lightly, taking several economic measures to mitigate its negative impacts and getting backing from friendly nations such as Belarus in pushing their cause. To further fight back, the Kremlin has now produced a list of persons who are not allowed to enter the country, which includes many high-profile lawmakers and Hollywood star Morgan Freeman.
Morgan Freeman Was Accused Of Supporting Sanctions On Russia
In a media release last Saturday, the country’s foreign ministry revealed a list of 963 American people forbidden from entering the country because they support US-imposed “anti-Russian sanctions” and also due to previous actions that smeared the government.
The announcement read, “In the context of response to the constantly imposed anti-Russian sanctions by the United States and connection with incoming requests about the personal composition of our national ‘stop list,’ the Russian Foreign Ministry publishes a list of American citizens who are permanently banned from entering the Russian Federation.”
According to the list, Freeman is “a well-known film actor who in September 2017 recorded a video message accusing Russia of conspiring against the United States and calling for a fight against our country.” It also claimed that the actor had implied that Russian President Vladimir Putin is using “cyber warfare to attack democracies around the world,” as well as his “sworn enemy, the United States.”
The Russian ban has been described as a reaction to escalating sanctions on their country, as well as the seizure of assets of key Russians throughout the globe, forcing the Kremlin to walk a tighter rope as the Ukrainian-Russian conflict unfolds.
Freeman’s Video Message
“We have been attacked. We are at war,” Freeman allegedly said in the clip at the time. “Imagine this movie script: a former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge. Taking advantage of the chaos, he works his way up through the ranks of a post-Soviet Russia and becomes president.”
“He establishes an authoritarian regime, then he sets his sights on his sworn enemy: the United States,” it continued.
The video was purportedly made for a nonprofit organization called Committee to Investigate Russia, which was established to raise awareness about Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, which ultimately saw Donald Trump becoming the winner, ousting his opponent Hillary Clinton.
Rob Reiner, the filmmaker of “A Few Good Men,” formed the now-defunct Committee and is named on the board of directors of the charitable organization.
Who Else Is On The List?
Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Texas senator Ted Cruz, Democrat House representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, and Meta Ceo Mark Zuckerberg are included in the list.
Other prominent mentions are ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, congresswomen Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley, and a number of US senators such as John McCain, Harry M Reid, and Orrin G Hatch.
Surprisingly, former President Donald Trump was not seen on this list of red-listed Americans. However, it does include former vice president Mike Pence.
As per the New York Post, many on the list did not appear concerned at their name getting tagged as persona non grata by the regime.
“What an honor,” tweeted Michael Carpenter, the US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Norman Barbosa, a former federal prosecutor and now Microsoft executive, took the ban more heartily, saying, “at least I’m still in good company.
Morgan Freeman’s Upcoming Projects
Based on Russia’s stance on previous sensitive political matters, it is unlikely that the ban on the individuals would be lifted soon; rather, the list is expected to grow as the Russian-Ukraine conflict continues to reach new devastating heights.
While Freeman is yet to respond publicly to the ban, fans will see the actor return to the big screen in two upcoming projects. The 84-year-old will star in Ben Tishler’s “Hate to See You Go,” portraying Sonny Bell.
As per the film’s IMDB page, his character will play “an aging Chicago Blues musician, who refuses to retire and defiantly hits the road with his band for one last long shot to keep doing the only thing that makes them all feel truly alive–play Blues.”
Freeman will also feature in “57 Seconds,” alongside “The Hunger Games” Josh Hutcherson. The time-travel thriller is now in development and is based on E.C. Tubbs’ novel “Fallen Angel.”