USA to impose sanctions on Russian Federation over attack on Skripals

FACEBOOK  GETTY    
     TARGETED Sergei and Yulia Skripal were exposed to Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok

FACEBOOK GETTY TARGETED Sergei and Yulia Skripal were exposed to Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok

The sanctions stem from a March nerve-agent attack against a former Russian spy in the U.K. The U.S. and Britain have held Russia responsible for the attack.

A fresh round of economic sanctions are to come into force on August 22 as punishment for Russia's violation of global law, the department said.

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

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. The administration said then it believed Russian Federation was responsible for the chemical attack.

The Russian economy is still reeling from global sanctions imposed on Moscow in 2014 over its actions in Ukraine and a crash in oil prices the same year.

Sanctions are punishments a country (or group of countries) puts on another country.

The State Department's announcement fuelled already worsening investor sentiment about the possible impact of more sanctions on Russian assets and the rouble at one point slid by over 1 percent against the dollar, hitting a two-year low, before recouping some of its losses. It would also impose mandatory sanctions on individuals found to have taken part in the interference.

The Russian ruble plummeted to its lowest level against the dollar since 2016 on Thursday as Washington prepares to penalize Moscow for a chemical attack in the United Kingdom earlier this year. The Post concluded it is likely an attempt to stave off far more punitive sanctions legislation now being considered in Congress.

It comes after Republican and Democrat senators introduced a draft bill last week proposing curbs on several Russian-owned banks operating in the U.S. and restrictions on their use of the dollar. Anger over what some USA lawmakers saw as a too-deferential performance by Trump and his failure to confront Putin over Moscow's alleged meddling in U.S. politics galvanized a new sanctions push against Moscow.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told reporters he wanted it to be a "sanctions bill from hell". In early April, just before the first tough round of US sanctions in response to Russian "worldwide malign activity" was announced, the ruble stood at roughly 58 to the dollar.

It remains unclear if lawmakers will succeed in passing the bill, with Congressional leaders having seemed unconvinced.

Last month, British Prime Minister Theresa May urged Trump to raise the issue of the poisonings when he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, although it remained unclear whether the subject came up in their talks. Just this week, Republican Sen.

"Without question", Peskov said. "At the same time, we are quite committed to working to maintain relations-we work on cooperative things where it is necessary to do so".

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.