U.S. To Impose New Sanctions On Russia For Nerve Agent Attacks

10 August, 2018, 10:57 | Author: Eric Barnett
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     COLLATERAL Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley were also exposed to the nerve agent

Under the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act, the president must determine whether a country has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of global law or used "lethal biological weapons against its own nationals", the State Department said.

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, in the British town of Salisbury in March.

Russian Federation continues to slam the USA over its announcement of new sanctions targeting the Kremlin, saying the move is meant to "demonize" Russian Federation.

The Russian Embassy in Washington in a statement late on August 8 called the allegations that Russia poisoned the Skripals with Novichok "far-fetched", and said neither Washington nor the British government had produced evidence supporting those allegations.

After a two-week congressional notification period, the sanctions are set to take effect on August 22, 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a one-on-one-meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018.

The novichok-type nerve agent was found on the front door of Skripal's home. "So linking these events is unacceptable to us, and just as with previous USA sanctions we believe are absolutely illegal and against global law", Peskov told reporters.


Wednesday's announcement comes less than a month after a summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki that has sparked concern among both Democrats and Republicans over the president's reluctance to hold the Kremlin to account for interfering in US elections. Russia's embassy in the US called the measures draconian.

A former Defense Department official, Mark Simakovsky, said Wednesday that a second tranche would target Russian exports to the U.S. and theoretically could include restrictions on flights by the state airline Aeroflot as well as a downgrade of diplomatic relations.

The sanctions came as an eagerly-watched contest for a previously safe Republican seat in the USA congress went to the wire, leading to speculation that voters were turning against Donald Trump and could punish the Republican Party at mid-term elections.

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Thursday the new sanctions represent a fresh attempt to "demonize Russia".

"This whole accusatory pyramid is being built in the absence of any legal substantiation, but they're still telling us about global law and respect for legal obligations", Zakharova told the Moscow briefing.

Russia's embassy in the United States on Thursday called new US sanctions draconian and said the reason for the new restrictions - allegations it poisoned a former spy and his daughter in Britain - were far-fetched. Rand Paul hand-delivered a letter from Mr. Trump to Putin, asking for "expanding dialogue". He said the new sanctions amount to "inflicting a punishment in the absence of a crime, in the tradition of lynch law".

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