If New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella had vacation plans in Moscow this summer, he’s going to have to re-schedule.
Hours after the United States and its allies announced a list of 300 new sanctions targeting Russian financial assets on Friday, the Kremlin released a list of its own: 500 Americans who are now personas non grata in the Russian Federation.
The list includes former President Barack Obama, the National Security Council’s Senior Director of Defense Affairs Cara Abercrombie, and Formella.
“Washington should have learned a long time ago that not a single hostile attack on Russia will go unpunished,” the Russian government said in a strongly-worded statement.
Formella doesn’t know why New Hampshire’s top cop was included on a list with figures like the next expected chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or the current president of General Dynamics Corporation, but he took the news in stride.
“Given the atrocities we are seeing the Kremlin carry out, being blacklisted by Russia is a badge of honor,” Formella said. “I am proud to vigorously enforce New Hampshire law and will continue to do so despite attempts like this to try and intimidate America’s public officials. This ‘action’ will have no impact on me, my office, or our work.”
The Biden administration didn’t mince words when it announced the new sanctions.
“From the beginning of President Putin’s illegal and unprovoked war, our global coalition has focused on supporting Ukraine while degrading Russia’s ability to conduct its invasion,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen. “Our collective efforts have cut Russia off from key inputs it needs to equip its military and is drastically limiting the revenue the Kremlin receives to fund its war machine. Today’s actions will further tighten the vise on Putin’s ability to wage his barbaric invasion and will advance our global efforts to cut off Russian attempts to evade sanctions.”
Russia’s list also includes Granite State native and late-night comedian Seth Meyers, along with Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel.
Not included: Gov. Chris Sununu, who banned Russian-branded booze from the state-run liquor stores last year.
“It’s what we can do to stand with the folks of Ukraine who’ve been thrown into a war they didn’t ask for,” Sununu told NHJournal at the time.
Asked why the potential 2024 presidential candidate didn’t make the list, a spokesperson for the governor said, “We would have to refer you to the Kremlin.”