Trump to Impose Sanctions on Russia Nerve Agent Attack on Ex-Spy

Frederick Owens
August 9, 2018

The sanctions will take effect on August 22, the State Department noted.

The surprise measures were announced by the State Department, which said that the Kremlin "has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of global law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals".

The Skripals fell unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury, Wilts, on March 4 after being exposed to a military-grade nerve agent determined to be Novichok.

While Skripal and his daughter survived the attack attributed to the Russian nerve agent Novichok, a British woman died and her companion became gravely ill after coming in contact with the substance just miles from the site of the March attack.

Russian Federation has strongly denied playing a role in the attack.

"It is an assault on United Kingdom sovereignty and any such use by a State party is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and a breach of global law".

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"The government of the Russian Federation has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of global law", US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Police think the novichok was sprayed or smeared on their front doorknob with a perfume bottle.

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.

Sanctions waivers are in place for certain key sectors, including space flight activities and commercial aviation safety, the official said.

The attack led, three months later, to the subsequent death of Dawn Sturgess, and the contamination of her partner, Charlie Rowley.

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. The US still wants to maintain relations with Moscow, despite the new sanctions.

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