Russians have begun an Internet campaign of tongue-in-cheek “sanctions” against U.S. President Barack Obama in retaliation to measures Washington imposed on Moscow over the Crimea crisis.
“Barack Obama as well as members of the U.S. administration, Senate and Congress are forbidden from wishing me a happy birthday,” Instagram user kos77 posted along with a photo of a frowning Obama.
Posting on a website called www.oursanctions.ru, the owner of a photographic studio said he would not serve Obama or his family, should the president ever try to use his services.
Twitter users have started the hashtag “My Sanctions” where they forbid Obama from everything from red caviar to Russian vodka. A Moscow shopping centre incorporated a ban on Obama and Congress members into an advertisement, underscoring the popularity of President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Crimea.
The ironic tone of the posts reflect the bravado expressed by many Russian officials and businessmen punished by the United States for their role in Ukraine.
Putin’s political approval ratings have risen sharply in the weeks since his confrontation with the West.
On Wednesday, the United States and European Union agreed to work together to prepare possible tougher economic sanctions in response to Russia’s annexation of Ukraine, including on the energy sector, and to make Europe less dependent on Russian gas.