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Russia blacklists 13 Americans in quid-pro-quo maneuver

Moscow has banned a U.S. congressman and 12 other American citizens from entering Russia in response to the United States' sanctions against the country, NPR reports.

While the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said the new blacklist is an answer to America's visa restrictions on Russian citizens, the move comes two days after Flight 17 crashed in Ukraine. That tragedy, in which all 298 passengers died after the plane was shot down, has further intensified international ire toward Russia. Ukraine is blaming pro-Russian militants for shooting the plane down, while President Vladimir Putin has defended the rebels, saying they are not at fault.

The twelve U.S. citizens who have been blacklisted by the Kremlin are all connected either with Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib, in Iraq. The thirteenth is Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), who Moscow says is accused of unspecified "financial misdeeds."