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Home / International / U.S. readying sanctions on Russia over nerve-agent attack in Britain

U.S. readying sanctions on Russia over nerve-agent attack in Britain

WASHINGTON: The White House has received a long-awaited package of new sanctions on Russia. Intended to punish the Kremlin for a 2018 nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K, Bloomberg reported on Friday, March 28.

U.S. officials at the Treasury and State Departments have vetted the sanctions and are awaiting approval from the White House to issue them, citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg said.

Sergei Skripal, a former colonel in Russia’s GRU military intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, were found unconscious on a bench in the southern English city of Salisbury in March 2018 after a liquid form of the Novichok type of nerve agent was applied to the front door of Skripal’s home.

Both Skripal and his daughter survived. Russia has denied any involvement in the attack.

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On Friday’s report, a Trump administration official noted that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had told Russian FM Sergei Lavrov in a phone call in February that the United States was determined to hold Russia accountable for the attack through sanctions.

A State Department spokeswoman said the department does not preview sanctions actions. The Treasury Department did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

European countries and the United States expelled hundred Russian diplomats after the attack on Skripal and the United States imposed sanctions on Russia in August after it determined Moscow was responsible for the attack.

Those sanctions covered sensitive national security controlled goods, State Department official said, citing the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act.

The State Department said in November it would impose additional sanctions on Russia after Moscow failed to give reasonable assurances it would not use chemical weapons.

Russia’s rouble was down 1 percent on Friday at 65.53 each dollar, after the report raised the possibility that sanctions could touch Russia’s banking sector.

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