USA imposes sanctions on Russian Federation for nerve agent attack in UK

U.S. orders new sanctions against Russia over chemical attack in Britain

U.S. orders new sanctions against Russia over chemical attack in Britain

The US Government said it would impose fresh sanctions on Russia after it determined that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian agent and his daughter in the UK.

Sergei Skripal, a 66-year-old former colonel in Russian military intelligence who has lived in Britain since a 2010 spy exchange, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, were poisoned in the English city of Salisbury and were critically ill for weeks.

A British government spokesman welcomed Washington's announcement, saying: "The strong worldwide response to the use of a chemical weapon on the streets of Salisbury sends an unequivocal message to Russian Federation that its provocative, reckless behavior will not go unchallenged".

"We share the United Kingdom's assessment that there is no plausible alternative explanation, and note that Russia's failure to address the legitimate request by the government of the United Kingdom further underlines Russia's responsibility".

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

The sanctions would be structured in two tranches, with the biggest impact from the initial sanctions expected to come from a ban on granting licenses to export sensitive national security goods to Russia, NBC reported, quoting a senior State Department official.

"The administration is rightly acting to uphold global bans on the use of chemical weapons", said Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, accused Britain of making baseless accusations over the poisonings and suggested the case could be driven by domestic issues in the United Kingdom.

The move was announced on Wednesday by the U.S. state department.

Sanctions will go into effect on August 22 after a mandatory waiting period, the State Department said.

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