Putin is expected to release his retaliation list as early as Tuesday and while the final list is still being crafted, it will include top Obama administration officials and high profile U.S. senators, in an effort to roughly mirror the U.S. sanctions against Russian officials and lawmakers, according to diplomatic sources. At the top of the list in Congress is Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who recently co-authored a resolution criticizing Russia’s invasion of Crimea.
Durbin’s inclusion on Putin’s list would mirror Obama’s naming of Valentina Matvienko, the head of the upper chamber of the Russian Duma. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are not expected to be on the Russian sanctions list.
UPDATE: Durbin told The Daily Beast in a statement Monday: “My Lithuanian-born mother would be proud her son made Vladimir Putin’s American enemies list.”
Sen. John McCain, who traveled to Kiev last weekend to meet with Ukrainian leaders, told The Daily Beast that he expects to be on the list and is happy about it.
“You think I’m not going to be on it?” McCain said. “I would be honored to be on that list.”
McCain said he would not be impacted financially by being subject to a visa ban and asset freeze in the Russian Federation.
“I guess I’m going to have to try to withdraw my money from my secret account in St. Petersburg,” he joked.