Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

USA to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation for nerve attack in UK

USA to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation for nerve attack in UK

The head of the foreign-relations committee of Russia's Senate, Konstantin Kosachev, compared the new sanctions to a "lynching".

The official told reporters the administration chose to impose a "presumption of denial" for the sale to Russian Federation of "national security sensitive" U.S. technologies that require federal government approval.

A senior Russian lawmaker denounced the sanctions as "lynch law". He went on to describe it as a "kind of game where everyone has to show how tough they are on Russian Federation".

The U.S. State Department announced the new punitive measures on Wednesday for the Kremlin's alleged involvement in a nerve agent attack in Britain, saying the U.S. had made the determination this week that Russia used the Novichok nerve agent to poison former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

A State Department official Wednesday said the delay in issuing the sanctions did not reflect any hesitation on the part of the Trump administration.

In the event of non-compliance, the official added, a second round of "draconian" sanctions would be given a green light.

According to USA media reports, the new measures include a ban on granting licenses to export sensitive national security goods to Russian Federation.

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Thursday the new sanctions represent a fresh attempt to "demonize Russia".

Turbulence in the oil market is also putting pressure on the currency, analysts said. It kicked out 60 diplomats - the highest number of any country. This included siding with the Russian leader over USA intelligence regarding alleged Kremlin interference in the 2016 elections that brought Trump to the White House.

"Making a linking to these events (the British poisoning) is for us unacceptable and such restrictions like those passed by the American side earlier ... are absolutely illegal and do not correspond to global law", said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to a Reuters report.

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"Once again we deny in the strongest terms the accusations about the possible connection of the Russian state to what happened in Salisbury".

In a sign the Kremlin was not eager to escalate an already hard situation, however, Peskov said it was too early to talk about Russian countermeasures.

The Trump administration has also already responded to the nerve agent poisonings.

Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia were found slumped unconscious on a public bench in the English city of Salisbury on March 4.

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 U.S. law on biological and chemical weapons use that requires the president to impose sanctions. Moscow has been blamed for the poisonings, but has denied any involvement.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018.

Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the upper house of parliament's worldwide affairs committee, was cited by the Interfax news agency as saying it appeared Washington was now behaving like "a police state".

"Sanctions are the United States weapon of choice", Trenin wrote on Twitter.

Sanctions can be quite a blunt instrument if they are a blanket ban on something, and can have unintended consequences.

Introduced by Republican and Democratic senators last week in draft form, Sen.

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