U.S. Sanctions Put Russia on Edge

10 August, 2018, 11:00 | Author: Regina Silva
  • U.S. Sanctions Put Russia on Edge

Lawmakers from Russia's ruling party accused US politicians of treating the country like a punching bag in their partisan infighting and in midterm campaigning.

The US State Department said on Wednesday it would impose new sanctions by the end of August, after determining that Moscow used a nerve agent against a former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, in Britain.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin called the measures "unfriendly" and "unlawful". This is out of the question. "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", a spokesperson for the British Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

In an early reaction, the Kremlin said the sanctions were illegal and unfriendly, and the USA move was at odds with the "constructive atmosphere" of Trump's and Putin's encounter in Helsinki. These are sensitive goods that normally would go through a case-by-case review before they are exported.

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.

The Russian Embassy in Washington said the "draconian" new sanctions against Russia weren't backed by any facts or evidence, noting that while the USA said it has enough information to conclude that Russia is to blame, it refused to disclose what it has, saying the information is classified.

A senior State Department official said Wednesday that there could be exceptions.

The action is aimed at punishing President Vladimir Putin's government for having "used chemical or biological weapons in violation of worldwide law", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

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Former agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious at the beginning of March. Skripal settled in Britain after a 2010 prisoner exchange.

"The UK welcomes this further action by our US allies".

Two other British citizens fell ill due to Novichok exposure in late June in a town close to Salisbury.

Dawn Sturgess, 44, later died in hospital. Investigators believe she found the substance in a discarded bottle and thought it was perfume.

The Kremlin said the new sanctions were "illegal and do not correspond to worldwide law".

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The Kremlin acknowledged on Thursday Putin's office had received the letter, but Peskov suggested the Russian leader was yet to parse it.

When asked Thursday about the possibility of a ban on Aeroflot, Peskov labelled the USA administration an "unpredictable participant in worldwide affairs", adding "you can now expect anything".

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