AR Briefly

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders added to list of Americans banned from Russia

By: - May 24, 2023 5:15 pm

Sarah Huckabee Sanders addresses the crowd after she was sworn in as the 47th Governor of Arkansas in January. (Karen E. Segrave/Arkansas Advocate)

This story was updated at 12:55 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, 2023.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined the ranks of several Arkansans who aren’t allowed into Russia in response to U.S. sanctions.

The former White House press secretary was included on a list of 500 more Americans who have fallen out of favor with the Kremlin. The Russians had already banned more than 1,300 Americans.

In an announcement, Russia said the bans were in response to the Biden administration’s sanctions against the Kremlin.

The list includes a wide variety of individuals who are often on opposite sides of the political spectrum. There’s Sanders, a staunch Republican closely aligned with former President Donald Trump, and U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia; then there are people like former President Barack Obama and George Soros.

The new list also includes dozens of diplomats, military leaders, journalists and actors.

Sanders’ Communications Director Alexa Henning said the ban won’t change the governor’s stance on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“While travel to Russia isn’t on the Governor’s to-do list, Putin’s recent action barring Governor Sanders from his country won’t change her belief that his actions against his own people are criminal and inhumane,” Henning said Thursday.

Sanders is one of seven governors banned this week, joining Republican Gov. Jim Pillen of Nebraska and Democratic governors Tina Kotek of Oregon, Wes Moore of Maryland, Jared Polis of Colorado, Katie Hobbs of Arizona and Maura Healy of Massachusetts.

She also joins Arkansas’ congressional delegation on Russia’s ban list. Currently banned are U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton and Johns Boozman and U.S. Reps. French Hill, Rick Crawford, Bruce Westerman and Steve Womack.

Others who have connections to Arkansas and are banned include Hillary Clinton and retired Gen. Wesley Clark, former commander of U.S. Southern Command and commander of U.S. European Command/Supreme Allied commander, Europe.

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Hunter Field
Hunter Field

Hunter Field is a veteran Arkansas journalist whose reporting on the state has carried him from military air strips in northwest Arkansas to soybean fields in the Arkansas delta. Most recently, he was the Democrat-Gazette's projects editor, leading the newspaper's investigative team. A Memphis native, he enjoys smoking barbecue, kayaking and fishing in his free time.