U.S. to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation for poisoning ex-spy

Erika Holt
August 9, 2018

WASHINGTON-The U.S. announced new sanctions against Russia on Wednesday over the nerve agent attack against a former Russian spy and his daughter in the U.K.in March, saying Moscow violated an global ban on chemical and biological weapons.

The sanctions will take effect on August 22, the State Department noted. In the past, such exports are said to have included items like electronic devices and components, as well as test and calibration equipment for avionics.

"The administration is rightly acting to uphold global bans on the use of chemical weapons", said Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Waivers have been issued for foreign assistance and space flight activities, while commercial passenger aviation and other commercial goods for civilian use will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, according to the official who briefed reporters.

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

Moscow ordered 60 American diplomats expelled in a tit-for-tat response.

Sergei Skripal, a former colonel in Russia's GRU military intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, were found slumped unconscious on a bench in Salisbury in March after a liquid form of the Novichok type of nerve agent was applied to his home's front door.

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They were critically ill, but survived after spending weeks in the hospital.

The United States is to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation after concluding that it was responsible for the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

Two more people, Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess, later came into contact with the lethal substance and were hospitalised.

Later on, London claimed that the Novichok-class toxin had been developed in Russian Federation.

In April 2018, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on seven of Russia's richest men-or "oligarchs"-as well as 17 top government officials, to put pressure on President Vladimir Putin's inner circle".

While criticized as too keen to strike up a friendship with Putin, Trump maintains that he's been tough on Moscow.

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