The United States will impose sanctions on Russia for its use of a nerve agent in an attempt to kill a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain.
The State Department says on Wednesday the sanctions will be imposed on Russia because it used a chemical weapon in violation of international law.
Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, in the British town of Salisbury in March.
Britain has accused Russia of being behind the attack, which the Kremlin vehemently denies.
Since the March attack, two other British nationals with no ties to Russia have been poised by the substance.
Following a 15-day congressional notification period, the sanctions will take effect on or around August 22, according to a statement from the State Department.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said it had been determined that Russia “has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law, or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals.”
The sanctions will cover sensitive national security goods, a senior State Department official told reporters on a conference call, citing the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act.
There would, however, be exemptions for space flight activities and areas covering commercial passenger aviation safety, which would be allowed on a case by case basis, the official added.
The official said a second batch of “more draconian” sanctions would be imposed after 90 days unless Russia gives “reliable assurances” that it will no longer use chemical weapons and allow on-site inspections by the United Nations.
“If those criteria are not met - it is up to Russia to make that decision - a second round of sanctions ...will to be imposed,” the official said, “They are in general more draconian than the first round.”
The news came as Republican US Senator Rand Paul said on Wednesday he had delivered a letter from President Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin proposing cooperation.
UK police confirm source of Novichok poisoningBritish detectives investigating the poisoning of two people by the nerve agent Novichok in southwestern England said Friday that a small bottle found ... World News
British woman exposed to Novichok nerve agent diesA woman exposed to the nerve agent Novichok in southwest England, near where a Russian spy was targeted by the same type of chemical in March, has ... World News
Ex-spy Skripal ‘improving rapidly’ after poisoning: hospitalA former Russian spy who was found slumped on a bench in an English town following a poison attack is no longer in critical condition and ... World News
Two Britons poisoned with nerve agent near where Russian spy was struckTwo British citizens were critically ill in hospital on Wednesday after they were poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent which struck down a former ... World News