US Sanctions Russia Over Claimed UK Nerve Agent Attack

US Sanctions Russia Over Claimed UK Nerve Agent Attack

A terse release from the State Department said that the United States had determined Russian responsibility for the attack in Salisbury, England - a British conclusion the administration had already accepted - under a 1991 USA law on biological and chemical weapons use that requires the president to impose sanctions.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the global chemical weapons watchdog, concluded in April that the nerve agent Novichok, known to have been first produced by the Soviet military, had been used in the attack against the Skripals, both of whom survived, although it did not assign blame.

"Thank you U.S. for standing firm with us on this".

The latest USA action follows the Treasury's imposition of sanctions in March against 19 Russian citizens and five entities for interfering in the 2016 U.S. election - the toughest steps against Moscow since Trump took office.

Earlier Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert released a statement explaining the sanctions.

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In a statement issued by its embassy in Washington, Russia called charges that Moscow employed chemical weapons "far fetched" - arguing the US lacked evidence, and repeating demands for a new investigation into the poisoning.

Peskov highlighted on Thursday what he called the "unpredictability of Russia's partners across the Atlantic.you can expect anything from Washington", he told CBS News partner network BBC News, calling the USA, "an unpredictable worldwide player".

The U.S. announcement fueled already worsening investor sentiment about the possible effect of more U.S. sanctions on Russian assets and the ruble slid by over 1 percent on Thursday against the dollar, a day after falling toward its lowest level in almost two years.

It added: "We confirmed that we continue to strongly stand for an open and transparent investigation of the crime committed in Salisbury and for bringing the culprits to justice".

They also banned some of the major business leaders with ties to the Russian government from coming into the European Union and US.

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"We consider categorically unacceptable the linking of new restrictions, which we as before consider illegal, to the case in Salisbury", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

The Kremlin has vehemently denied any involvement in the Salisbury and Amesbury incidents, and it did so again in lieu of new sanctions.

The Kremlin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, however, told reporters Thursday that it was too early to talk about countersanctions and that Russian Federation still hoped for "constructive relations" with the United States.

PA Wire/PA Images Yulia Skripal, who was contaminated with the nerve agent Novichok along with her father Sergei Skripal. "Your compliance with the Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 is critical to showing Putin that we are serious about challenging his deadly acts, as well as his ongoing attacks on our democracy".

The Novichok attack on March 4 left former Russian intelligence officer Sergei and Yulia fighting for life, but they eventually made a full recovery after spending weeks in intensive care. Investigators believe she found the substance in a discarded bottle and thought it was perfume.

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