USA imposes sanctions on Russian Federation over Skripal poisonings in Salisbury

Salisbury Spy Poisoning: US Says Russia Was Behind Nerve Agent Attack In UK, And Will Impose Sanctions

The latest USA action follows the Treasury's imposition of sanctions in March against 19 Russian citizens and five entities for interfering in the 2016 United States election - the toughest steps against Moscow since Trump took office.

The U.S. State Department said Wednesday that Congress had been notified and that the new sanctions would go into effect on August 22.

"In our view, these and earlier restrictions are absolutely unlawful and don't conform to global law", Peskov said.

The sanctions would cover sensitive national-security controlled goods, a senior State Department official told reporters on a conference call, citing the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act.

The U.S. made a similar determination in February when it found that North Korea used a chemical weapon to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2017.

Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal were hospitalized and treated for a nerve-agent attack in March.

Washington had previously expelled roughly 60 Russian Federation diplomats in response to a nerve-agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal. Investigators believe she found the substance in a discarded bottle and thought it was perfume. One of them died.

Unless Russia agrees within 90 days to stop all use of chemical weapons and permit inspections to confirm their elimination, the law requires the United States to choose from a range of additional measures, including withdrawal of USA support for global loans and US bank loans, prohibition of landing rights for Russian airlines, and suspension of diplomatic relations.

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Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said this afternoon that Moscow was starting to work on measures following Washington's decision to impose sanctions, which she claimed were using the Salisbury attacks in March as a pretext.

"Once again we totally reject any allegations of possible Russian government involvement over what happened in Salisbury", Peskov said Thursday, adding that "Russia did not have and does not have anything to do with the use of chemical weapons".

Pushed to take action by the Republican lawmaker who chairs the House's Foreign Affairs Committee, the Trump administration moved on Wednesday to take delayed action.

Vladimir Vasilyev, a senior researcher at the Institute of the United States and Canada in Moscow, said the Americans were strengthening sanctions "from an element of pressure into an ultimatum".

Nauert said the sanctions would begin on August 22.

The International Monetary Fund Russia's financial stability report says, "The Russian economy is experiencing a protracted recession and faces significant risks".

"It's quite incredible, it's completely wrong that the United States has taken this step, because the United Kingdom has yet to produce any real evidence regarding the Skripal case, which took place in March", he said. Our provision of foreign assistance is a tool of USA power and influence, and we're not going to foreswear that just because we have the obligation to impose some sanctions against Russian Federation. Russian blue-chip stocks plunged as much as 9%, led by state banks and national airline.

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