Britain welcomes United States sanctions on Russian Federation over Salisbury nerve agent attack

Britain welcomes United States sanctions on Russian Federation over Salisbury nerve agent attack

"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.

The former Russian double agent and his daughter were found unconscious on a bench in the town of Salisbury, England, on March 4.

In late March, Trump ordered 60 more Russian diplomats expelled from the USA as part of a global response to the attack - a response that included similar expulsions of diplomats from other nations checking Russia.

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 first round of the new sanctions, scheduled to take effect August 22, will include a broad ban on technology exports to Russian Federation.

Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center and a former colonel in the Russian army, said the State Department's move looked like the latest salvo in what he called a hybrid war.

A second set of potentially more serious measures will be introduced only if Moscow fails to provide reliable assurances it will no longer use chemical weapons and blocks on-site inspections.

Instead, he said there were also delays in triggering the same type of US sanctions after the two most recent chemical or biological attacks, one in Sryia by the Assad regime and another perpetrated by North Korea.

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The Russian embassy in the United States called the measures "draconian" and Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said they were "illegal" and "absolutely unfriendly". But U.S. officials had not yet confirmed the use of banned nerve agents in the attack. One of them, Dawn Sturgess, died eight days later.

They are being imposed in response to a 1991 USA law which requires export controls to be imposed on any country found to have used chemical weapons.

The head of the foreign-relations committee of Russia's Senate, Konstantin Kosachev, compared the new sanctions to a "lynching".

The Financial Stability Board - an worldwide body that monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system, said in a 2018 report, that Russia's financial system "continued to suffer from weak governance, including sometimes non-transparent ownership structures and deficiencies in reporting".

"Of course, such decisions taken by the American side, are absolutely unfriendly", said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in discussing the new sanctions with reporters in Moscow on Thursday.

The move could cut off hundreds of millions of dollars worth of exports to Russian Federation, said a senior State Department official on condition of anonymity.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a television interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 17, 2018, as he defends President Donald Trump and his Helsinki news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Such a message might not go down well in Moscow", Prof Cullinane added.

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