(Photo: Mary Landrieu's office)
Russian sanctions will not stop her advocacy for Russian orphans, said Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), one of nine U.S. officials that Russia announced sanctions against in retaliation for U.S. sanctions against Russia.
"Being sanctioned by President Putin is a badge of honor," Landrieu announced in a statement to The Christian Post.
Landrieu has been one of the most outspoken critics of Russia's decision to ban adoptions to the United States. She, along with Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), sponsored a resolution condemning the action that was unanimously passed by the Senate.
Landrieu is also the founding co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption and the sponsor of Children in Families First (CHIFF), a bill that promises to reform the U.S. international adoption system.
At a September press conference introducing CHIFF, Landrieu called Pavel Astakhov, Russia's child rights commissioner and an advocate of the adoption ban, an "ass."
"He doesn't want to hear the truth. He's an ass. You can write that: He's an ass!" she said at the time.
Though it is unclear at the time of publication why Landrieu was chosen to receive the sanctions, she mentioned both her advocacy for orphans and energy exports in her press release.
The Russian sanctions "most certainly will not stop me from advocating for orphans in Russia and around the world," she said.
Landrieu has also been a strong proponent of the Keystone XL pipeline and energy exploration. She added that the sanctions "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."
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the sanctions Thursday, shortly after President Barack Obama announced additional sanctions on Russia. Obama's move was in response to Russian lawmakers voting to annex Crimea.
The other eight officials on Russia's sanctions list include: three Obama advisers, Caroline Atkinson, Daniel Pfeiffer and Ben Rhodes); four senators, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Dan Coats (R-Ind.); and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio).