Putin aide banned from entering USA shrugs: ‘I can still listen to Tupac’

Vladislav Surkov says he doesn't need a visa to listen to Tupac or read Allen Ginsberg

One of Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s top aides has laughed off having his assests frozen by the US by saying the only good things to come out of America are rapper Tupac Shakur, writer Allen Ginsberg and artist Jackson Pollock.

Businessman Vladislav Surkov was one of seven Russian officials to have their assets frozen by US President Barack Obama on Monday (March 17). The sanctions mean he cannot enter the US or access any US bank accounts.

But Surkov, who was Deputy Russian Federation Prime Minister until May 2013, said: “This is a big honour for me. I don’t have accounts abroad. 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.”

Deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin also mocked the sanctions. “Comrade Obama,” he said. “What should those who have neither property or accounts abroad do? Or didn’t you think of that? I think some prankster prepared the draft of this act.”

Earlier today (March 19), Obama warned Putin that further sanctions were likely in the wake of Russian intervention in Ukraine.