Russia is drafting a list of top Obama administration officials and U.S. congressmen to sanction in response to the U.S. asset freezes and visa bans against seven high-level Russian officials and four Ukrainians on Monday.
The list is expected to be released as early as Tuesday, although its final draft has yet to be compiled, diplomatic sources told The Daily Beast.
The list is said to be attempting to mirror the one released on Monday by the White House, which included senior Russian officials such as Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin, and presidential aide Vladislav Surkov, the so-called grey cardinal of the Kremlin.
The Russian response is expected to include prominent U.S. officials such as Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, the Democratic senator that co-authored a congressional resolution criticizing Russia's incursion in Crimea, and Senator John McCain.
"I guess I'm going to have to try to withdraw my money from my secret account in St. Petersburg," McCain said in jest, adding that it would be an honor to be on Putin's sanction list.
Although not yet confirmed, other names said to be featured on the list include senators Robert Menendez and Bob Corker, the leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who had pushed for sanctions against Russia. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Victoria Nuland, who has been involved in the Ukraine crisis and the country's new government in Kiev, is also expected to be on the list.
The Daily Beast reported that former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who was rumored to be looking to replace McFaul, were not on the list.