Russia sanctions eight top US officials

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Russia says it is banning eight top current and former US government officials from entering the country in response to US sanctions.

The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement those banned included FBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, US Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

Others to face an entry ban include Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons Michael Carvajal, Director of the Domestic Policy Council Susan Rice, former US national security advisor John Bolton and ex-CIA head Robert James Woolsey.

Earlier on Friday, Russian officials pledged to impose more counter sanctions unless the US changed what it called its anti-Russian course and backed away from confrontation.

The foreign ministry made the pledge in a statement detailing counter sanctions after the US government imposed a broad array of sanctions on Russia to punish it for allegedly interfering in last year's US election, cyber hacking, bullying Ukraine and other malign actions.

Russia, which has asked 10 US diplomats to leave the country in retaliation for the US expulsion of the same number of Russian diplomats, denies all the US allegations.