The forthcoming publication of a list of Russians barred from the United States over alleged human rights abuses will severely strain relations, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said on Friday, but he also sought to limit the damage.
“The appearance of any lists will doubtless have a very negative effect on bilateral Russian-American relations,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“At the same time, these bilateral relations are very multifaceted, and even under the burden of such possible negative manifestations … they still have many prospects for further development and growth.”
President Barack Obama must by Saturday submit a list of Russians to be barred entry to the United States under a law penalising Moscow for alleged human rights abuses. Their assets in the United States will also be frozen.