Novichok attack: Russian Federation denounces 'draconian' new United States sanctions

   PUNISHMENT Trump's administration will slap Russia with a new round of sanctions

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova leading a briefing, February 10, 2016. Furthermore, Moscow eliminated all stockpiles of its chemical weapons under worldwide obligations, unlike the USA, which has still to honor its commitment.

The US State Department said on Wednesday it would impose fresh sanctions by the month's end after determining that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, in Britain.

After a two-week congressional notification period, the sanctions are set to take effect on August 22, 2018.

Those products include machinery and electrical parts - the trade of which could be worth "potentially hundreds of millions of dollars", according to a senior U.S. state department official.

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. Britain, the United States and other nations have accused Russian Federation of ordering the poisonings.

Police think the novichok was sprayed or smeared on their front doorknob with a perfume bottle. One of them died.

The prime minister said that by targeting Russia's gas exports to Europe, Washington wants to push its own LNG shipments to the continent.

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee, said the USA is behaving like a "police state, threatening and torturing a suspect to get evidence".

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce, who had pushed months ago for Trump to take action over Russia's use of banned weapons, applauded the move as "key to increasing pressure on Russian Federation". He insisted that Russia's financial system is strong enough to withstand shocks from the new penalties. Russian blue-chip stocks plunged as much as 9%, led by state banks and national airline. Royce and other lawmakers have accused the administration of dragging its feet on making Wednesday's determination.

"The mandatory sanctions that follow this determination are key to increasing pressure on Russian Federation".

"In recent years, Vladimir Putin has steadily escalated his campaign to consolidate power and undermine the United States", Royce said in the letter.

While criticized as too keen to strike up a friendship with Putin, Trump maintains that he's been tough on Moscow.

While Kremlin spokesman Peskov suggested the Kremlin was still weighing how to respond to the sanctions, other Russian officials were less circumspect.

Britain said it welcomed the USA response to the chemical attack in Salisbury, the English town where the Skripals were poisoned. But he has faced criticism from USA lawmakers for not taking a stronger position against reported Russian interference in the 2016 US elections.

There would, however, be exemptions for space flight activities, government space cooperation, and areas covering commercial passenger aviation safety, which would be reviewed on a case by case basis, the official added.



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