Mandatory Sanctions Imposed on Russia After UK Chemical Weapons Use

Russia news

Russia news The US has hit out at Russia over the Salisbury attack

Russian Federation continues to slam the US over its announcement of new sanctions targeting the Kremlin, saying the move is meant to "demonize" Russian Federation.

Mr Putin, himself a former KGB spy, said earlier this month Mr Skripal would have been dead if he was attacked with a weapons-grade agent.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says that Moscow would consider it a "declaration of economic war" and would retaliate "economically, politically, or, if needed, by other means" if the United States imposes bans on Russian banks or their use of a particular currency. "That's out of the question." he added.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said this afternoon that Moscow was starting to work on measures following Washington's decision to impose sanctions, which she claimed were using the Salisbury attacks in March as a pretext.

The first set of sanctions covered by that announcement, which US officials said target export licenses of sensitive USA technologies and industrial equipment, such as electronics, calibration equipment, and gas turbine engines, are expected to enter into force around August 22. Washington subsequently accused Moscow of breaking the 1991 global law against chemical and biological warfare.

The attack prompted an initial wave of diplomatic expulsions between U.S. -Britain allies and Russia - including the tit-for-tat exit of 60 Russian and U.S. diplomats in March.

"In practice this will mean we are imposing a "presumption of denial" upon export licences for USA -origin national security-sensitive goods and technology to any Russian state-owned or state-funded enterprise", the official said in a conference call with reporters.

The State Department said the sanctions were in response to "the use of a "Novichok" nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate United Kingdom citizen Sergei Skripal" - who was a double agent - and his daughter Yulia in March.

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

If Moscow violates the sanctions then it could see restrictions on flights from the Russian Aeroflot airline to the US, sanctions on USA bank loans, increased export and import restrictions, including on gas and petroleum, and potentially even a downgrade of diplomatic relations.

They come despite US President Donald Trump's much-publicised summit with Russian opposite number Vladimir Putin last month.

In March, two weeks after the Skripal attack, President Trump signed a statement, together with the leaders of France, Germany, and Britain, blaming Russia for the assassination attempt on the former Russian military officer, who was convicted of spying for Britain.

The Kremlin responded by describing the sanctions as illegal and unfriendly and adding that the United States move was at odds with the "constructive atmosphere" of Mr Trump and Mr Putin's meeting in Helsinki last month.

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