President Barack Obama announced on March 17 that seven Russian officials and four Ukrainian officials could not travel to the U.S., as punishment for actions taken in Russia’s annexation of Crimea portion of Ukraine.
Menendez, currently travelling in Brussels, Belgium, responded to Putin’s ban on Thursday.
"President Putin's military invasion and annexation of Crimea is brutal, totally unacceptable, and sadly returns us to a period of Cold War aggression and hostility. It doesn't have to be this way but, if standing up for the Ukrainian people, their freedom, their hard earned democracy and sovereignty means I'm sanctioned by Putin, so be it," Menendez said.
Putin’s actions against the American legislators are reportedly in reaction to Obama’s ban.
Although the Russian list has not yet been finalized, Menendez is reportedly one of those named, along with Sen. Bob Corker. Both Senators head the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and seen as the leaders behind moves to sanction Russia in the U.S. Senate.
Putin visited Hudson County in the fall of 2005 take his place among other dignitaries that included Acting Governor Albio Sires, U.S. Senator (and Democratic candidate for Governor) Jon Corzine, State Senator and Bayonne Mayor Joseph Doria and others - that included the designer of the memorial and world famous Russian artist Zurab Tsereteli. AT that time, Putin had reportedly come on a mission of peace. – By Al Sullivan