Vladimir Putin's top aide Vladislav Surkov mocks US sanctions: 'The only thing that interests me about the US is Tupac, and I don't need a visa' for that

Russia moves forward with plan to annex Crimea despite US sanctions

A top aide to President Vladimir Putin has laughed off the sanctions imposed by the US, saying the only thing he likes about America is Tupac, and he "doesn't need a visa" to listen to rap music.

Vladislav Surkov, one of the seven Russian officials slapped with White House sanctions, told a Russian newspaper being on America's blacklist is a "big honour" for him.

He added: "The only things that interest me in the US are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg, and Jackson Pollock. I don’t need a visa to access their work. I lose nothing."

Similarly, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, tweeted the sanctions appeared to have been drawn by "some pranksters" on behalf of "comrade" Obama.

Rogozin tweeted: "Comrade Obama... What will you do with those who have neither accounts nor property abroad? Or didn’t you think of that?"

The incendiary comments come shortly after Kremlin-backed television presenter Dmitry Kiselyov warned Moscow could turn the US "into radioactive ash" in a nuclear attack.

"Russia is the only country in the world realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash," Kiselyov said standing in front of a large screen depicting a mushroom cloud produced by a nuclear explosion.

"Even if people in all our command posts after an enemy atomic attack cannot be contacted, the system will automatically fire our missiles from mines and submarines in the right direction," he added.

Yesterday, President Barack Obama authorised the US Treasury Department to freeze dollar-denominated assets of seven Russian individuals in the wake of the Crimean referendum, which saw an overwhelming majority vote 'yes' to joining the Russian Federation.

European foreign ministers also imposed sanctions against 21 Russian and Ukrainian officials deemed responsible for the unrest in the region, including Sergey Aksyonov, the prime minister of Crimea. Brussels and Washington have branded the referendum illegal and in breach of international law.

President Obama also warned more sanctions would follow if Russia did not change course and “de-escalate” the situation after the Russian leader paved the way for Crimea’s annexation by formally recognising it as an independent state.

Speaking in a televised address earlier today, President Putin insisted that Russia and Crimea are "inseparable" and reiterated that Sunday's referendum took place "in full accordance with international law".

Meanwhile, vice-president Joe Biden has landed in Warsaw to meet with the leaders of four Nato allies – Poland and the three Baltic states, which have all expressed alarm about the possible future scope of Russian aggression.

Read more: Foreign leaders condemn 'Russia's destabilising actions'
Even the time changes on Crimea's first day under Russian rule
Russia could 'turn the US to radioactive dust' - TV presenter
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Designer - UI / UX Design

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Designer is required to j...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager

£30000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation based in Pea...

Recruitment Genius: Administrator / Warehouse Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This fast-paced award winning company based in...

Recruitment Genius: General Manager

£50000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of global logisti...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable