U.S. justification for sanctions 'far-fetched' - Russian Federation

Adjust Comment Print

FILE - In this March 13, 2018, file photo, police officers guard a cordon around a police tent covering a supermarket vehicle park pay machine near the spot where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found critically ill following exposure to the Russian-developed nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury, England.

USA and European allies have publicly blamed the Kremlin for attempting to kill the two in the British town of Salisbury using a Novichok nerve agent, a claim Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied.

Almost two weeks after the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee asked why the administration was AWOL on Russia's use of a deadly nerve agent on British soil, and less than a week after a group of senators introduced a package of crushing sanctions on the Kremlin, the State Department announced that mandatory sanctions for chemical weapons use will go into effect.

The U.S. sanctions announced on Wednesday, which will go into effect around August 22, will restrict the licenses granted for exports of national security goods and technologies to Russian Federation. Trump made no public comments on the matter, and communications aides referred all questions to the State Department, which said the USA still sought improved ties with Moscow.

The sanctions being used by the US are economic - they ban companies from selling goods to Russian Federation.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, accused Britain of making baseless accusations over the poisonings and suggested they were driven by domestic issues in the UK. But U.S. officials had not yet confirmed the use of banned nerve agents in the attack. One of the victims, Dawn Sturgess, later died, leading police to launch a murder inquiry.

The State Department's surprise announcement of the new sanctions on Wednesday jolted Moscow, where some politicians and analysts had been hopeful that Putin's meeting with President Trump in Helsinki in July would stabilize U.S.

The US and European Union (including the UK) also enforced sanctions against Russia in 2014 as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Israel fired artillery in the Gaza strip has died
Israel says Hamas, which rules Gaza , is using the protests as cover to carry out cross-border attacks. Israel has said they only opened fire in self-defence or on people trying to infiltrate its territory.

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

Irina Yarovaya, deputy speaker of the State Duma, is the latest Russian official to condemn the sanctions that have sent the rouble tumbling and sparked fears of economic catastrophe.

Russia's embassy in the United States said Washington's findings against it in the Skripal case were not backed by evidence.

The new US sanctions would cover sensitive national-security controlled goods, a senior State Department official told reporters.

Russian officials question why Russia would want to attack an ageing turncoat who was pardoned and swapped in a Kremlin-approved 2010 spy swap.

The Kremlin has flown into a rage after Washington announced new economic sanctions against Russian Federation over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4.

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. Rand Paul hand-delivered a letter from Mr. Trump to Putin, asking for "expanding dialogue".