USA to impose sanctions on Russian Federation over nerve attack in UK

  • USA to impose sanctions on Russian Federation over nerve attack in UK

USA to impose sanctions on Russian Federation over nerve attack in UK

Months after Britain alleged that the Russian government carried out nerve-agent attacks in Salisbury, the Trump Administration has announced a new round of sanctions against Russia, aimed to punish them for the incident.

State Department officials told reporters on a call that the economic impact of the sanctions would be in the range of "hundreds of millions of dollars" and would target electronic devices and engines, for example.

A senior State Department official said Wednesday that Russian Federation could face another round of "more Draconian" sanctions within 90 days unless it provides "reliable assurances" it is no longer using chemical or biological weapons.

British Prime Minister Theresa May welcomed the USA decision.

In response to the United States announcement, the Russian Embassy in the USA issued a statement referring to "far-fetched accusations" and saying Russian officials had yet to hear any facts or evidence and that the U.S. had refused to answer questions.

The embassy went on to maintain its innocence in the case, adding that it continues "to strongly stand for an open and transparent investigation of the crime committed in Salisbury and for bringing the culprits to justice".

Elaborating in a briefing today, a State Department official said the most significant sanction is "the imposition of a presumption of denial for all national security sensitive goods or technologies that are controlled by the Department of Commerce pursuant to the Export Administration Regulations".

"The administration is rightly acting to uphold global bans on the use of chemical weapons", said Ed Royce, a Republican of California, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The Novichok attack on March 4 left former Russian intelligence officer Sergei and Yulia fighting for life, but they eventually made a full recovery after spending weeks in intensive care.

Moscow has been trying to improve battered US-Russia ties with mixed success. S. was illegal under worldwide law and that Russia's financial system was stable.

The sanctions added to pressure on the ruble that began earlier in the day, when Russian media published the full text of a separate USA bill seeking "crushing sanctions" for election meddling.

He stressed that it was hard to reconcile the latest unfriendly actions by the US with the atmosphere established during the recent summit between US President Donald Trump and Putin in Helsinki.

What was the nerve agent?

In currency markets, the Russian rouble sank after Washington said it would impose fresh sanctions because it had determined that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian agent and his daughter in Britain.

The attack prompted the United Kingdom and its Western allies to expel many Russian diplomats - and Russia retaliated with its own expulsions. More than 20 countries expelled Russian envoys in solidarity with the United Kingdom, including the US.

Also in March, Washington ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats, and the closure of Russia's consulate general in Seattle.

Three months after the Salisbury attack, two other people fell ill at a house in Amesbury, about eight miles from the city.

Although Skripal and his daughter recovered after intensive care in hospital, another woman Dawn Sturgess died after coming into contact with the agent on 30 June.