USA to sanction Russian Federation over Skripal poisoning

09 August, 2018, 17:13 | Author: Brooke Harris
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     TARGETED Sergei and Yulia Skripal were exposed to Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok

The U.S. State Department announced the new punitive measures on Wednesday for the Kremlin's alleged involvement in a nerve agent attack in Britain, saying the U.S. had made the determination this week that Russia used the Novichok nerve agent to poison former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

The US State Department said on Wednesday it would impose new sanctions by the end of August, after determining that Moscow used a nerve agent against a former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, in Britain.

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury, England, on March 4.

The new sanctions will take effect on or around 22 August.

The Russian diplomats also said in their statement that they had outlined the official position on the United Kingdom poisoning incidents in official letters to the US State Department and continue to insist on an open and transparent investigation that would end in bringing the culprits to justice.

"Mr. Putin's entire track record shows that he doesn't back down under pressure but, rather, goes the other direction", said Andrey Kortunov, director general of the Russian International Affairs Council, a Moscow think tank that receives state funding.

In an early reaction, the Kremlin said the sanctions were illegal and unfriendly, and the USA move was at odds with the "constructive atmosphere" of Trump's and Putin's encounter in Helsinki.

However, he added that "Moscow retains hopes of building constructive relations with Washington".

"The strong global response to the use of a chemical weapon on the streets of Salisbury sends an unequivocal message to Russian Federation that its provocative, reckless behaviour will not go unchallenged", a United Kingdom foreign office statement said.

In Tehran meeting, Iranian President warns N. Korean FM about "unreliable" US
Zarif said in his Wednesday remarks that the world was taking Iran's side in the face of United States acts. The US now plans on adding Iranian oil and gas to the sanctions in November this year.

The law requires the president to terminate arms sales, deny US credit and prohibit the export of sensitive technology to any country using chemical or biological weapons.

Instead, he said there were also delays in triggering the same type of USA sanctions after the two most recent chemical or biological attacks, one in Sryia by the Assad regime and another perpetrated by North Korea.

The U.S. move also triggered a sell-off in Russian government bonds and the dollar-denominated RTS index fell to its lowest since April 11.

The Trump administration has also already responded to the nerve agent poisonings.

This week, Britain's the Guardian newspaper reported London is preparing to ask Moscow to extradite two Russian citizens suspected of carrying out the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

The move was announced today by the USA state department.

But the Trump administration agreed with the conclusions of Mrs May's government, expelling a number of diplomats in solidarity with the UK. United Kingdom scientists also found that two other people who fell ill three months later - one of whom died - had been exposed to the agent.

On June 30, a British couple were poisoned by Novichok in a nearby town - 44-year-old mother-of-three Dawn Sturgess subsequently died while her boyfriend Charlie Rowley recovered.

Mr Rowley told ITV News he had earlier found a sealed bottle of perfume and given it to Ms Sturgess, who sprayed the substance on her wrists.

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