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Former US Ambassador Banned From Traveling to Russia

FILE - Then-U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul is pictured leaving the Russian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow, May 15, 2013.

Michael McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia, said Friday that Moscow had banned him from entering the country.

McFaul, who was ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, wrote on Facebook that Russia had banned him because of his close ties to President Barack Obama.

"Was told that I am [on] the Kremlin's sanctions list because of my close affiliation with Obama," he wrote. "I will take that as a compliment!"

McFaul said the move was a response to U.S. visa bans for senior Russian officials following Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

He said he found out about the ban when he applied for a Russian visa in order to travel to the country in December to do work for Hillary Clinton's presidential transition if she had won the election.

McFaul, who is now a professor at Stanford University, wrote on Facebook that he hoped he was not on the Russia travel ban list forever. "Since 1983, I've been living in and traveling to that country," he said.

On Friday, he also tweeted: "I probably have been on travel ban list since 2014, in response to U.S. sanctions. Just found out now because I sought to apply for a visa."