Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Russia Condemns New US Sanctions as ‘Unlawful’

DS    
   PUNISHMENT Trump's administration will slap Russia with a new round of sanctions DS PUNISHMENT Trump's administration will slap Russia with a new round of sanctions
Russell Knight | 10 August, 2018, 10:59

They were aimed at punishing Putin's government for having "used chemical or biological weapons in violation of global law", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Russia is already under USA sanctions for its 2014 invasion of Crimea, and the Trump administration expelled 60 Russians from the US and shuttered the Russian consulate in Seattle in response to the failed assassination attempt.

U.S. sanctions on Russian Federation will target exports of national security-related goods including sectors such as specialised oil and gas technology and some electronics and sensors, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Thursday.

The first round of the new sanctions, scheduled to take effect August 22, will include a broad ban on technology exports to Russian Federation. -Russian relations. A 1991 law, however, mandates sanctions once the president makes a determination that a country is responsible for a chemical or biological weapons attack.

Under the law, once the government determines that a country has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of worldwide law, it must impose sanctions.

British Prime Minister Theresa May also pressed Trump to address the poisonings when he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last month. But U.S. officials had not yet confirmed the use of banned nerve agents in the attack.

Sturgess, 44, died a week after the exposure.

They are being imposed in response to a 1991 USA law which requires export controls to be imposed on any country found to have used chemical weapons.

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Faced with a new round of USA -sanctions over alleged chemical weapons use, Russia denounced the move as an "illegal" gesture that defied attempts by President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin aimed at improving relations during a recent summit.

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

Russia's embassy in London said they had not received any extradition requests over allegations any of its citizens were involved in the novichok poisonings. 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.

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson added that it is "overwhelmingly likely" that the attack was directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The new sanctions will not fully take effect until later in August, but already the Russian ruble tumbled to two-year lows and nervous investors began selling off Russian assets.

Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by the Novichok military-grade nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury in March. His administration has sanctioned a number of Russian officials and oligarchs for human rights abuses and election meddling.

Paul said the letter "emphasized the importance of further engagement in various areas including countering terrorism, enhancing legislative dialogue and resuming cultural exchanges".

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