Russia Denounces US 'Novichok' Sanctions

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

'Following a 15-day Congressional notification period, these sanctions will take effect upon publication of a notice in the Federal Register, expected on or around August 22, 2018'.

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury on 4 March, having been poisoned by Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

A terse release from the State Department said that the United States had determined Russian responsibility for the attack in Salisbury, England - a British conclusion the administration had already accepted - under a 1991 USA law on biological and chemical weapons use that requires the president to impose sanctions.

The U.S. announcement fueled already worsening investor sentiment about the possible effect of more U.S. sanctions on Russian assets and the ruble slid by over 1 percent on Thursday against the dollar, a day after falling toward its lowest level in almost two years.

"The categories covered by this (sanctions) include such things as electronics, computers, sensors and lasers, telecommunications, specialized oil and gas production equipment and information security technologies just to name a few", the official said.

The US is trying to play up this "anti-Russian topic as a way to continue demonizing Russia" and make it appear that it is not fulfilling its worldwide obligations, Zakharova said. 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. "Keeping these sanctions going is always a very good diversion from the government. Vladimir Putin must know that we will not tolerate his deadly acts, or his ongoing attacks on our democratic process", Royce said Wednesday.

The UK blames Russia, but the Russian government strongly denies any involvement. The shares of Russian state-controlled banks, the national carrier Aeroflot and other companies also tanked.

Under the terms of the sanctions, any attempt by a US company to obtain an export licence to sell anything with a potential national security objective - gas turbine engines, electronics, integrated circuits and testing and calibration equipment - will be automatically denied.

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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.

Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) wrote to President Trump on July 26 that enforcement of the Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 in Russia's UK Novichok attack "is critical to deterring additional attacks".

A State Department official said the sanctions could have a significant impact on trade with Russian Federation.

There would be exemptions for space flight activities as well as areas covering commercial passenger aviation safety, the official added.

Russian Federation has denied responsibility for the attack.

The leaders, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin had met at summit in Helsinki.

In March, the Trump administration ordered 60 Russian diplomats - all of whom it said were spies - to leave the United States and closed down Russia's consulate in Seattle in response to the Skripal case. Paul's meeting with Putin will allow Trump to communicate this uncomfortable decision with some diplomatic cordiality.

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