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Russia on Saturday banned the entry of 963 Americans into the country, including US President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and CIA chief William Burns.

Last month, Russia had imposed travel bans on US Vice President Kamala Harris, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and dozens of prominent Americans and Canadians in retaliation for sanctions imposed over Ukraine.

Publishing the full list of banned Americans for the first time, the Russian foreign ministry said: "We emphasize that the hostile actions taken by Washington, which boomerang against the United States itself, will continue to receive a proper rebuff."

It said Russian counter-sanctions were a necessary response aimed at "forcing the ruling American regime, which is trying to impose a neo-colonial 'rules-based world order' on the rest of the world, to change its behaviour, recognizing new geopolitical realities."

The travel bans have only a symbolic impact but form part of a constant downward spiral in Russia's relations with the United States and its allies since its 24 February invasion of Ukraine. 

Today's move comes after President Biden signed legislation to support Ukraine with another $40 billion in US assistance.

The legislation, which was passed by Congress with bipartisan support, deepens the US commitment to Ukraine at a time of uncertainty about the war's future. Ukraine has successfully defended Kyiv, and Russia has refocused its offensive on the country's east, but American officials warn of the potential for a prolonged conflict.

The funding is intended to support Ukraine through September, and it dwarfs an earlier emergency measure that provided $13.6 billion.

The new legislation will provide $20 billion in military assistance, ensuring a steady stream of advanced weapons that have been used to blunt Russia's advances. There's also $8 billion in general economic support, $5 billion to address global food shortages that could result from the collapse of Ukrainian agriculture and more than $1 billion to help refugees.

Biden signed the measure under unusual circumstances. Because he's in the middle of a trip to Asia, a US official brought a copy of the bill on a commercial flight to Seoul for the president to sign, according to a White House official.

The logistics reflect a sense of urgency around continuing US support for Ukraine, but also the overlapping international challenges facing Biden.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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