Landrieu among US officials banned from Russia

US Sen. Mary Landrieu
US Sen. Mary Landrieu

WASHINGTON (WAFB/AP) - US Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-LA, is one of nine American lawmakers and officials banned from Russia. 

Landrieu is chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. She said she vows to make America an energy superpower to lessen Russian influence.

"Being sanctioned by President Putin is a badge of honor," Landrieu said in a written release. "It will not stop me from using my power as chair of the Energy Committee to promote America as an energy superpower and help increase energy exports around the world. We must minimize Russia's influence over Europe, the former Soviet states especially Ukraine that has fought so long for freedom—and our allies. And it most certainly will not stop me from advocating for orphans in Russia and around the world."

The move barring American officials was part of Russia's retaliation after President Barack Obama introduced a new round of US sanctions against Moscow over its actions in Ukraine.

Obama is targeting 20 individuals inside and outside the government, as well as a Russian bank that provides them support. He also signed an executive order that would allow the US to penalize key sectors of the Russian economy.

Russia moved its military into Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula three weeks ago and has since formally annexed the region.

Copyright 2014 WAFB. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.