USA to sanction Russian Federation for carrying out Salisbury nerve agent attack

Cheryl Sanders
August 9, 2018

The UK government has accused Russian Federation of being behind the attack, but the Kremlin has continuously denied involvement.

The US State Department said the sanctions were in response to "the use of a "Novichok" nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate United Kingdom citizen Sergei Skripal" - a former Russian double agent - and his daughter Yulia.

Poisoned: Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia Skripal, 33.

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.


An official judgement on the Skripal affair has tonight been passed by the the US State Department, paving the way for new sanctions against Russian Federation.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the global chemical weapons watchdog, concluded in April that the nerve agent Novichok, known to have been first produced by the Soviet military, had been used in the attack against the Skripals, both of whom survived, although it did not assign blame.

"It is an assault on United Kingdom sovereignty and any such use by a State party is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and a breach of worldwide law".

Sanctions waivers are in place for certain key sectors, including space flight activities and commercial aviation safety, the official said.


Two more people - Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley - were subsequently treated for exposure to novichok after Ms Sturgess reportedly picked up a discarded perfume bottle thought to have contained the agent.

A blazing diplomatic row ensued between London and Moscow in the following weeks and months after the Scotland Yard-led investigation attributed blame to Russian Federation.

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


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