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US To Impose Sanctions On Russia Over Nerve Agent Attack In UK

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The US Government announced new sanctions on Russia after determining that the Russian government was responsible for the attempted killing of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the UK.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement, "Following the use of a 'Novichok' nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate UK citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal, the United States determined under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act) that the Russian Government has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals."

Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent living in the UK, and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious in the city of Salisbury after being poisoned with Novichok in March, though they have now recovered. Novichok is a military-grade nerve agent developed by Russia, and the British government alleged that Russia was behind the attack. But the Kremlin has strongly denied any involvement.

The United States was quick and hard in retaliation by expelling 60 Russian diplomats.

Neurt said that after a 15-day Congressional notification period, the sanctions will take effect "on or around August 22."

The sanctions deny Russia license to import all national security sensitive goods or technologies that are controlled by the US Department of Commerce pursuant to the Export Administration Regulations.

The sanctions forbid Russian procurement of aero gas turbine engines, electric devices and electronic components, integrated circuits, and test and calibration equipment of various sorts.

These sanctions are applicable to all Russian state-owned or state-funded enterprises.

In a briefing, a State Department official said that if Russia does not meet a series of criteria under the CBW Act within 90 days, it will consider imposing a second tranche of sanctions.

When asked what will be the dollar value of the exports and imports that this sanction will affect, the official did not give a specific amount, but said,"the trade it affected could reach potentially hundreds of millions of dollars."

"We are tough on Russia and at the same time we're quite committed to working to maintain relations because there are important things at stake here. We work on cooperative things where it is possible to do so, and we cry foul when it's necessary to do so. That's been a part of our strategy all along and it's nothing new here."

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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