Russia says 500 Americans to be banned, list includes Obama

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(Reuters) -Russia's foreign ministry on Friday said former President Barack Obama was among 500 U.S. citizens who would be banned in response to the latest round of sanctions announced by Washington.

The ministry also said Russia had refused the latest U.S. request for consular access to detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested in March on suspicion of spying.

This move was triggered by the U.S. refusal last month to give visas to media traveling with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the United Nations, it said in a statement.

"Washington should have learned a long time ago that not a single hostile attack on Russia will go unpunished," it added.

Earlier on Friday the United States announced punitive measures against more than 300 targets, aiming to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and intensifying one of the harshest sanctions efforts ever implemented.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Daniel Wallis)