Britain welcomes United States sanctions on Russian Federation over Salisbury nerve agent attack

Russia news

The US expelled a number of Russian diplomats as part of an global response to the attack, when the former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were taken ill in March.

Washington had previously expelled roughly 60 Russian Federation diplomats in response to a nerve-agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal.

Prices of Russia's government bonds, known as OFZs, also inched higher from Thursday lows. One of them died.

US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the action was aimed at punishing Russian President Vladimir Putin's government for having "used chemical or biological weapons in violation of global law".

He went on to say the sanctions "contravene worldwide law".

Russia's delegation to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on August 9 accused the West of acting as prosecutor, judge, and executioner.

The sanctions are created to target electronic devices and some large equipment, including aircraft gas turbine engines, with an exemption for equipment used for mutual U.S. -Russia space exploration.

Republican Representative Edward Royce of California, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in a letter sent to Trump shortly after the Skripal attack, said he was encouraged by the joint statement Trump signed with allies.

But initial triumphalism swiftly turned sour as anger over what some US lawmakers saw as an over deferential performance by Trump and his failure to confront Putin over Moscow's alleged meddling in USA politics galvanized a new sanctions push.

"The UK welcomes this further action by our USA allies", a No 10 spokesman said.

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharaova denied Russian involvement in the Skripal poisoning on Thursday and said Moscow is working on unspecified "retaliatory measures" against the United States.

Trump has not shied away from condemning the Skripal attack, but critics have questioned why it has taken the USA government so long to impose the new sanctions in response. Individuals face limits on their travel and freezes on at least some of their assets, while some top Russian state banks and companies, including oil and gas giants, are effectively barred from getting financing through US banks and markets.

"The administration is rightly acting to uphold global bans on the use of chemical weapons", said Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (Authorities believe a British woman's death was caused by accidental exposure to the nerve agent).

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

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

The sanctions came as an eagerly-watched contest for a previously safe Republican seat in the U.S. congress went to the wire, leading to speculation that voters were turning against Donald Trump and could punish the Republican Party at mid-term elections.

The new prohibitions, which come into effect on August 22, could cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in future exports to Russian Federation. The U.S. said at the time it was the largest expulsion of Russian spies in American history.

The State Department announced a number of possible exceptions to the new sanctions.

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

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