Ben Stiller, Sean Penn Permanently Banned From Entering Russia

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Ben Stiller and Sean Penn have been permanently banned from entering Russia, the Kremlin announced Monday.

The actors are listed among 23 other United States citizens newly barred from the country, including Senators Kirsten Sinema, Richard Scott, Patrick Toomey Jr. and Mark Kelly, as well as Deputy Ministers of Trade Matthew S. Alexrod, Don Graves, Thea Kandler and Jeremy Pelter, and Minister of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

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An official statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, translated to English, reads: “In response to the ever-expanding personal sanctions by the Biden Administration against Russian citizens, against another group of persons from among members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking officials, representatives of the business and expert communities, as well as cultural figures (25 people), a ban on entry into the Russian Federation on a permanent basis. The following is a list of names of American citizens who are included in the Russian ‘stop list,’ based on the principle of reciprocity.”

This news comes following Stiller and Penn’s advocacy for Ukraine amid the country’s ongoing war with Russia. Serving as goodwill ambassador of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Stiller met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in June. The “Severance” EP and director also met with Ukrainian people forced to flee their homes due to the Russian invasion, and he visited occupied settlements in Kyiv.

“I’m meeting people who have been impacted by the war, and hearing how it’s changed their lives. War and violence are devastating people all over the world,” Stiller said in a video posted to Instagram. “Nobody chooses to flee their homes. Seeking safety is a right and it needs to be upheld for every person.”

Penn, on the other hand, was on the ground in Ukraine filming a documentary about Russia’s invasion. He attended press briefings and met with Ukrainian government officials while in the country. In April, the “Gaslit” star said he was considering “taking up arms against Russia.”

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