Sunday, 19 August, 2018

USA imposes sanctions on Russian Federation over Skripal poisonings in Salisbury

DS    
   PUNISHMENT Trump's administration will slap Russia with a new round of sanctions DS PUNISHMENT Trump's administration will slap Russia with a new round of sanctions
Laurie Berry | 10 August, 2018, 14:43

Moscow considers Washington's new anti-Russia sanctions over the ex-spy poisoning as a declaration of economic war, Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, said on Friday. "And we'll have to respond to it accordingly - economically, politically, or in any other way, if required", Medvedev said during a trip to the Kamchatka region.

"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.

Skripal, a former colonel in Russia's GRU military intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter were found slumped unconscious on a bench in the southern English city of Salisbury in March after a liquid form of the Novichok type of nerve agent was applied to his home's front door.

She said sanctions would take effect on or around 22 August, after a 15-day Congressional notification period.

Although the United States joined European countries in publicly blaming Moscow within days of the attack, the Trump administration never issued a formal triggering of sanctions under its decades-old USA law on chemical weapons.

The announcement of United States sanctions caused the value of the rouble to plunge early on Thursday and Russian stock markets to fall.

Everton land Barcelona's Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes and Brazil global Bernard
Everton had an eventful deadline day, making no fewer than four big-name signings, including Bernard, Gomes, Kurt Zouma and Mina . Gomes, meanwhile, had struggled to force his way into Barcelona's side on a regular basis last season.

The State Department said the sanctions were in response to "the use of a "Novichok" nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate United Kingdom citizen Sergei Skripal" - who was a double agent - and his daughter Yulia in March.

-Russian relations. A 1991 law, however, mandates sanctions once the president makes a determination that a country is responsible for a chemical or biological weapons attack. In early April, just before the first tough round of USA sanctions in response to Russian "worldwide malign activity" was announced, the ruble stood at roughly 58 to the dollar.

Donald Trump's administration explicitly blamed Russian Federation for carrying out the chemical attack on Sergei and Yulia in Salisbury, Wilts, in what was believed to be an assassination attempt.

On Wednesday, Russia's Kommersant daily published excerpts from another piece of draft US legislation which proposes a ban on USA citizens purchasing Russian sovereign debt as well as steps against the country's biggest banks as well as its oil and gas sector, a key driver of the economy.

After pressure from Republican members of Congress, the state department has determined Moscow broke worldwide law by using a military-grade chemical weapon on the Skripals. He said the new sanctions amount to "inflicting a punishment in the absence of a crime, in the tradition of lynch law".

"Today's step is an important but moderate set of sanctions", said Peter Harrell, a sanctions official in the Obama administration, adding that further sanctions expected in three months "could be among the most severe yet, but could also be quite modest, depending on where the Trump administration wants to go".

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