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US to issue chemical weapons-related sanctions against Russia

| Updated: November 08, 2018 17:21:03

File Photo (Collected) File Photo (Collected)

The US State Department has said that it would impose additional sanctions on Russia after Moscow failed to give reasonable assurances it would not use chemical weapons after a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in England.

The department in August had threatened Russia with added sanctions after 90 days unless it complied with the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act.

Under the law, Russia had to end the use of the nerve agent Novichok, which was used in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March, commit to not using chemical weapons against its own people, and allow on-site inspections by agencies like the United Nations.

“Today, the department informed Congress we could not certify that the Russian Federation met the conditions,” US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Tuesday.

 “We intend to proceed in accordance with the terms of the CBW Act, which directs the implementation of additional sanctions,” she added.

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

European countries and the United States expelled 100 Russian diplomats after the attack, in the strongest action by President Donald Trump against Russia since he came to office.

Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attack.

An initial round of sanctions in August related to the Skripal poisoning targeted Russian national-security controlled goods. The second round of sanctions would be “more draconian,” the State Department said at the time.

However, the State Department did not say when the next batch of sanctions against Russia would be issued.

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