United States to impose sanctions on Russian Federation over Skripal attack

Russia news

The U.S. announced new sanctions on Russia Wednesday, saying it's made a final determination that Vladimir Putin's government was responsible for the March 4 nerve-agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the United Kingdom.

The State Department says Wednesday the sanctions will be imposed on Russian Federation because it used a chemical weapon in violation of global law.

Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, and his daughter Yulia Skripal were hospitalized and treated for a nerve-agent attack in March.

PA Wire/PA Images Yulia Skripal, who was contaminated with the nerve agent Novichok along with her father Sergei Skripal.

NBC, a U.S. news network, cited a senior state department official as saying that the sanctions would be structured in two tranches.

The second round of sanctions could cut far deeper, including blocking all American bank loans to Russian entities, an outright ban on USA exports to Russia, and suspension of diplomatic relations.

Police found a bottle containing the substance at the scene.

Iran naval drills created to send message to Washington, US general says
Votel emphasized that the U.S. military can keep the Strait of Hormuz open for shipping despite Iranian threats to potentially shut it down.

The sanctions will cover sensitive national security goods, a senior State Department official told reporters on a conference call.

"The administration is rightly acting to uphold global bans on the use of chemical weapons", said Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"The mandatory sanctions that follow this determination are key to increasing pressure on Russian Federation". The US still wants to maintain relations with Moscow, despite the new sanctions.

It would reportedly include more drastic measures, such as downgrading diplomatic relations, banning the Russian airline Aeroflot from flying to the United States and cutting off almost all exports and imports. The U.S. said at the time it was the largest expulsion of Russian spies in American history.

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

The announcement in Washington was likely to intensify troubles for the ruble, which took a hit Wednesday along with the stock market over rumors of separate new tough U.S. sanctions over election meddling.

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