US imposing new Russia sanctions over chemical attack
Hossen Sohel: The United States says it will impose new sanctions on Russia for illegally using a chemical weapon in an attempt to kill a former spy and his daughter in Britain earlier this year.
The new sanctions, to be imposed later this month, come despite President Donald Trump’s efforts to improve relations with Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, and his harsh criticism of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, reports AP.
In response to the announcement, the Russian Embassy in the U.S. issued a statement referring to “far-fetched accusations” and saying Russian officials had yet to hear any facts or evidence and that the U.S. had refused to answer questions.
The State Department said Wednesday the U.S. made the determination this week that Russia had used the Novichok nerve agent to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, and that sanctions would follow. It said Congress is being notified of the Aug. 6 determination and that the sanctions would take effect on or around Aug. 22, when the finding is to be published in the Federal Register.
Those sanctions will include the presumed denial of export licenses for Russia to purchase many items with national security implications, according to a senior State Department official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to do so by name.
The U.S. made a similar determination in February when it found that North Korea used a chemical weapon to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half brother at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2017.
Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by the Novichok military-grade nerve agent in the English town of Salisbury in March. Britain has accused Russia of being behind the attack, which the Kremlin vehemently denies.