United States imposes sanctions on Russian Federation for nerve agent attack in UK

U.S. orders new sanctions against Russia over chemical attack in Britain

The US State Department has for the first time explicitly blamed the nerve agent attack against ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on Vladimir Putin's government.

The State Department said in a statement that under the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act, Russia was found to have "used chemical or biological weapons in violation of global law or had used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals".

The official said a second batch of "more draconian" sanctions would be imposed after 90 days unless Russian Federation gives "reliable assurances" that it will no longer use chemical weapons and allow on-site inspections by the United Nations or other worldwide observer groups.

The action is aimed at punishing President Vladimir Putin's government for having "used chemical or biological weapons in violation of global law", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Sergei, a former KGB colonel, and Yulia were fighting for life but eventually made a full recovery after spending weeks in intensive care.

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"The conversation with U.S. politicians was about resuming close cooperation between the Russian Federal Assembly and the U.S. Trump has repeatedly said he wants to improve relations with Russian Federation , which are severely strained.

Police officers guard a cordon around a police tent covering a supermarket vehicle park pay machine near the spot where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found critically ill following exposure to the Russian-developed nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury, England (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File).

Police think the novichok was sprayed or smeared on their front doorknob with a perfume bottle.

The State Department said the sanctions tied to the use of chemical weapons are expected to take effect around August 22 but didn't immediately say what they would entail.

Three months later a British woman, Dawn Sturgess, died after being poisoned by novichok in a...

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