Trump Administration to Sanction Russia Over Chemical Weapons Attack on Sergei Skripal

Trump Administration to Sanction Russia Over Chemical Weapons Attack on Sergei Skripal

However, the second tranche, activated after 90 days if Moscow fails to provide "reliable assurances" it will no longer use chemical weapons and allow on-site inspections by the United Nations or other global observer groups, is more serious.

The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it will impose new sanctions on Russia over the nerve-agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March.

Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, along with daughter Yulia, was found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury.

New sanctions are expected to come into effect on or around August 22 following a 15-day Congressional notification period.

Russia's embassy in the United States on Thursday called new USA sanctions draconian and said the reason for the new restrictions - allegations it poisoned a former spy and his daughter in Britain - were far-fetched. Investigators believe she found the substance in a discarded bottle and thought it was perfume.

Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of the Russian parliament, said Thursday that the US has behaved like a "police state, threatening and torturing a suspect to get evidence".

Affected by the new sanctions are sensitive national security-controlled goods. One of them, Dawn Sturgess, died eight days later.

The second round of sanctions could cut far deeper, including blocking all American bank loans to Russian entities, an outright ban on U.S. exports to Russia, and suspension of diplomatic relations. This included siding with the Russian leader over US intelligence regarding alleged Kremlin interference in the 2016 elections that brought Trump to the White House.

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The government of the United Kingdom, where the Skripal poisoning occurred, applauded the Trump administration for imposing more sanctions on Russian Federation.

Russian officials question why Russia would want to attack an ageing turncoat who was pardoned and swapped in a Kremlin-approved 2010 spy swap.

And unlike the coordinated trans-Atlantic sanctions enacted in response to the Ukraine crisis in 2014, America's European allies - who together trade far more with Russian Federation that the United States does - aren't following suit this time with new sanctions of their own. Anger over what some U.S. lawmakers saw as a too-deferential performance by Trump and his failure to confront Putin over Moscow's alleged meddling in USA politics galvanized a new sanctions push against Moscow.

"The mandatory sanctions that follow this determination are key to increasing pressure on Russian Federation".

Russian markets had already been falling amid heightened concern about another, separate round of sanctions, including those on owners of Russian sovereign debt, under consideration by the U.S. Senate over alleged U.S. election meddling by Moscow. "Vladimir Putin must know that we will not tolerate his deadly acts, or his ongoing attacks on our democratic process".

A senior State Department official said Wednesday that there could be exceptions.

President Trump met with Putin at a summit in Helsinki, Finland, in July, and was widely criticized by both Democrats and Republicans alike who accused Mr. Trump of being too conciliatory to Putin.

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