U.S. imposes sanctions on Russia over nerve agent attack
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 8/09/18, 10:41 am
The United States will impose sanctions on Russia this month following the nerve agent attack earlier this year against a former spy and his daughter in Britain. The U.S. State Department on Wednesday said the sanctions, which include denial of export licenses for national security–related items, will go into effect on or around Aug. 22. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the sanctions came after confirming that Russia “used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law, or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals.”
Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia passed out in a Salisbury park in March after coming into contact with a nerve agent. Britain blamed Russia for the attack although Russia has repeatedly denied responsibility. The Skripals survived the poisoning, but another person died in July after coming into contact with what police believed was the bottle containing the Novichok agent.
In response to the case, the Trump administration expelled 60 Russian diplomats from the United States and shut down the Russian Consulate in Seattle. Dmitry Peskov, press secretary for Russian President Vladimir Putin, denied responsibility for the poisoning and said the sanctions run contrary to the “constructive” atmosphere at the Trump-Putin summit last month. “In our view, these and earlier restrictions are absolutely unlawful,” Peskov said.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.