The Kremlin declared on Monday that a number of well-known Americans, including actors Ben Stiller and Sean Penn, would no longer be permitted to enter Russia.
Amid Vladimir Putin’s military invasion of Ukraine, the two actors have been given a formal travel restriction. Along with Senators Kirsten Cinema, Richard Scott, Patrick Toomey Jr., and Mark Kelly, Stiller and Penn are among the 25 people who have been placed on the “stop list.”
Per an official statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, via an English translation, “In response to the ever-expanding personal sanctions by the Biden Administration against Russian citizens, against another group of persons from among members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking officials, representatives of the business and expert communities, as well as cultural figures (25 people), a ban on entry into the Russian Federation on a permanent basis.” The individuals on the “stop list” were banned “based on the principle of reciprocity.”
Since the beginning of the military invasion in Russia back in February, Penn has been very vocal regarding Putin’s government. In the past, he threatened to burn all of his Oscars if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wasn’t given the chance to address the audience at the 94th Academy Awards. Subsequently, he revealed that he had thought about “taking up arms against Russia.”
Meanwhile, Stiller traveled to Ukraine in June and met Zelensky there. He traveled there on behalf of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and paid visits to a number of occupied settlements in the Kyiv Region. “It’s one thing to see this destruction on TV or on social networks. Another thing is to see it all with your own eyes,” said Stiller in a meeting, per the President of Ukraine’s website. “That’s a lot more shocking.”