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Russia Considers Retaliation For 'Categorically Unacceptable' New U.S. Sanctions

10 August 2018

The second, which can be selectively activated after 90 days if Moscow fails to provide "reliable assurances" it will no longer use chemical weapons and blocks on-site inspections, could include downgrading diplomatic relations, suspending national flag carrier Aeroflot's ability to fly to the United States and cutting off almost all exports and imports.

She accused Washington of picking the nerve agent poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, as a "contrived excuse" for sanctions.

New sanctions are expected to come into effect on or around August 22 following a 15-day Congressional notification period.

The Kremlin on Thursday vowed to retaliate against "unacceptable" new U.S. sanctions against Russia over its alleged role in a nerve agent attack on a former spy in Britain, which prompted the ruble and Russian stocks to tumble.

The announcement fueled already worsening investor sentiment about the possible impact of more United States sanctions on Russian assets and the rouble at one point slid by over 1% on Thursday against the dollar, hitting a two-year low. Police believe the couple accidentally found a bottle containing Novichok.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has warned the United States that any sanctions targeting Russian banking operations and currency trade will be treated as a declaration of economic war and retaliated against by any means necessary.

Vladimir Putin's government violated an global act banning the use of chemical and biological weapons with the assassination attempt, the State Department said. One of them, Dawn Sturgess, died eight days later.

It's a benefit, they argue, of policies put in place amid a raft of Western sanctions imposed over Russian actions in Ukraine and alleged interference in the US 2016 presidential elections.

Months later, two residents of a nearby town with no ties to Russian Federation were also poisoned by the deadly toxin.

The White House said Trump provided "a letter of introduction" at Paul's request, and that the president "mentioned topics of interest that Senator Paul wanted to discuss with President Putin". He added that the new sanctions amount to "inflicting a punishment in the absence of a crime in the tradition of lynch law".

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

"This whole accusatory pyramid is being built in the absence of any legal substantiation, but they're still telling us about global law and respect for legal obligations", Zakharova told the Moscow briefing.

"The UK welcomes this further action by our USA allies", a No 10 spokesman said.

"The administration is rightly acting to uphold global bans on the use of chemical weapons", said Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Britain said it welcomed the USA response to the chemical attack in Salisbury, the English town where the Skripals were poisoned.

After pressure from Republican members of Congress, the state department has determined Moscow broke worldwide law by using a military-grade chemical weapon on the Skripals.

Russia Considers Retaliation For 'Categorically Unacceptable' New U.S. Sanctions