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Russia includes Manchin, West Virginia lawmakers on list prohibiting entry

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Multiple West Virginians, including U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., are among the more than 900 Americans permanently banned from Russia, a government agency announced Saturday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry published a list of 963 American citizens prohibited from entering the country. The Russian government updated its list in response to the United States’ actions supporting Ukraine following Russia’s invasion of the country.

The list consists of politicians, government officials, business leaders, private citizens and individuals who are dead, such as late Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Harry Reid of Nevada.

“Russia does not seek confrontation and is open to honest, mutually respectful dialogue, separating the American people, who are always respected by us, from the US authorities, who incite Russophobia, and those who serve them,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a release. “It is these people who are included in the Russian ‘black list.'”

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. (File)

Among the members of Congress placed on the list are Manchin and Republican Reps. David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Carol Miller.

Manchin — the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee — has raised concerns about using Russian fossil fuels amid Russia’s military efforts against Ukraine and pushed for a ban on importing crude oil and other fossil fuels. He and Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski introduced a bill in March blocking the importation of all fossil fuels from Russia; Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., cosponsored the measure.

McKinley introduced a similar bill — the REFUSE PUTIN Act — that additionally called for authorizing the Keystone XL oil pipeline. President Joe Biden in March signed an executive order banning Russian oil, natural gas and coal imports to the United States.

During a May 19 hearing regarding the Department of the Interior’s budget proposal, Manchin stressed the need for the United States to boost energy production.

“Given the current global situation, it is essential for the United States to step up to the plate as the superpower of the world,” Manchin said. “That includes the responsible development of our abundant energy and mineral resources.”

Manchin and Capito recently supported legislation to provide $40 billion in American aid to Ukraine. Mooney and Miller voted for the same measure on May 10, the day of West Virginia’s primary election. McKinley and Mooney were running against each other in the Republican primary in the state’s new 2nd Congressional District. Miller — who easily won the Republican nomination for the 1st Congressional District — cast Mooney’s vote through the House’s proxy vote rules. McKinley did not vote on the measure.

Gayle Manchin, the senator’s wife, is also on the list. The Russian Foreign Ministry cited Gayle Manchin’s former position as chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom as its reason; the government commission monitors religious freedom in other countries and makes policy recommendations to the president and Congress. The body has listed Russia as a “country of particular concern,” noting policies targeting religious minorities.

Gayle Manchin left the body in May 2021 to become the federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The president, his son Hunter Biden, former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg are also on the list.

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