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Russia bans 18 Americans in response to Washington imposing sanctions on 18 Russians

Russia is banning 18 Americans from entering the country in response to Washington imposing sanctions on 18 Russians for alleged human rights violations.

The list released Saturday by the Foreign Ministry includes John Yoo, a former U.S. Justice Department official who wrote legal memos authorizing harsh interrogation techniques; David Addington, the chief of staff for former Vice President Dick Cheney; and two former commanders of the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

The move comes a day after the United States announced its sanctions under the Magnitsky Law, which Russia regards as interference in its internal affairs.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevicvh said in a statement Saturday that the U.S. sanctions struck "a strong blow to bilateral relations and joint trust."

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