Russian Federation calls fresh U.S. sanctions "illegal"

Russian Federation calls fresh U.S. sanctions

Russian Federation calls fresh U.S. sanctions "illegal"

The second, which can be selectively activated after 90 days if Moscow fails to provide "reliable assurances" it will no longer use chemical weapons and blocks on-site inspections, could include downgrading diplomatic relations, suspending national flag carrier Aeroflot's ability to fly to the United States and cutting off almost all exports and imports.

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, in Salisbury in March.

Russia's embassy in the United States on Thursday called new U.S. sanctions draconian and said the reason for the new restrictions-allegations it poisoned a former spy and his daughter in Britain-were far-fetched.

A Kremlin spokesman slammed the new sanctions as illegal and repeated that Russia had nothing to do with the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England in March - the episode that sparked the fresh trade restrictions and other measures announced by the Trump administration on Wednesday.

U.S. sanctions on Russian Federation will target exports of national security-related goods including sectors such as specialised oil and gas technology and some electronics and sensors, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Thursday.

Photo Yulia Skripal is now at an undisclosed location after recovering from the poisoning.

If Russia was brazen enough to kill with a chemical weapon on British soil, could it happen in the United States?

The State Department's surprise announcement of the new sanctions on Wednesday jolted Moscow, where some politicians and analysts had been hopeful that Putin's meeting with President Trump in Helsinki in July would stabilize U.S.

The warning, from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, reflects Russian fears over the impact of new restrictions on its economy and assets, including the rouble which has lost almost six percent of its value this week on sanctions jitters.

The threat of more USA sanctions kept the rouble under pressure on Friday, sending it crashing past two-year lows at one point before it recouped some of its losses.

The Russian economy is still reeling from worldwide sanctions imposed on Moscow in 2014 over its actions in Ukraine and a crash in oil prices the same year.

Nerve agent attack: What is Novichok?

After pressure from Republican members of Congress, the state department has determined Moscow broke global law by using a military-grade chemical weapon on the Skripals.

The Kremlin responded by describing the sanctions as illegal and unfriendly and adding that the USA move was at odds with the "constructive atmosphere" of Mr Trump and Mr Putin's meeting in Helsinki last month.

The sanctions are mandated by a USA law that requires action over the use of chemical and biological weapons-but President Trump maintains significant discretionary power over the degree of that punishment.

Trump also ordered the expulsion of 60 Russians, including 12 identified as intelligence officers, and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle. They pulled through after weeks in a hospital.

On June 30, a British couple were poisoned by Novichok in a nearby town - 44-year-old mother-of-three Dawn Sturgess subsequently died.

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