Russian Federation denounces new USA sanctions

Gladys Abbott
August 10, 2018

The State Department announced the penalties on Wednesday - a response to the poisoning last March of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, in the British town of Salisbury.

-Russian relations. A 1991 law, however, mandates sanctions once the president makes a determination that a country is responsible for a chemical or biological weapons attack.

The US expelled a number of Russian diplomats as part of an worldwide response to the attack, when the former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were taken ill in March.

"Following a 15-day Congressional notification period, these sanctions will take effect upon publication of a notice in the Federal Register, expected on or around August 22, 2018", she said.

In March, the Trump administration ordered 60 Russian diplomats - all of whom it said were spies - to leave the United States and closed down Russia's consulate in Seattle in response to the Skripal case.

So far President Donald Trump has been silent on this latest move - which could well derail his attempts to develop a new, warmer relationship with Vladimir Putin.

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.

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.

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The sanctions announcement coincided with reports that the White House is drafting its own executive order that would sanction foreigners involved in election interference.

Britain said it welcomed the U.S. response to the chemical attack in Salisbury, the sleepy English town where the Skripals were poisoned.

The United States announced a new round of sanctions targeting Russian Federation on Wednesday that pushed the rouble to two-year lows and sparked a wider sell-off over fears Russian Federation was locked in a spiral of never-ending sanctions.

Medvedev's tough tone was in stark contrast with past statements by President Vladimir Putin and his lieutenants, who have taken a nonchalant posture while talking about US and other Western sanctions, seeking to downplay their impact on the Russian economy.

Countries can also introduce sanctions in retaliation to other countries' sanctions. Among other measures, it would put sanctions on any transactions related to Russian energy projects and new Russian sovereign debt, as well ban American individuals and businesses from working with Russian oil projects.

Faced with a new round of USA -sanctions over alleged chemical weapons use, Russia denounced the move as an "illegal" gesture that defied attempts by President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin aimed at improving relations during a recent summit.

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

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