USA to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation for poisoning ex-spy

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The U.S. State Department announced the new punitive measures on Wednesday for the Kremlin's alleged involvement in a nerve agent attack in Britain, saying the U.S. had made the determination this week that Russia used the Novichok nerve agent to poison former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

The action is aimed at punishing President Vladimir Putin's government for having "used chemical or biological weapons in violation of worldwide law", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Britain said it welcomed the U.S. response to the chemical attack in Salisbury, the English town where the Skripals were poisoned.

Her extraordinary comments come after the US State Department unveiled the sanctions on Wednesday night in a move that could imperil relations between Moscow and Washington.

"You can impose sanctions against another state because you want to see a change in behaviour of the other state", says Professor Moritz Pieper, a lecturer in worldwide relations at the University of Salford.

Russia's financial stability assessments from the independent worldwide observers highlight risks and further slowdown in growth.

The embassy said it continued to call for an open and transparent investigation into the incident. The United Kingdom blamed Russia for the attack, resulting in the expulsion of 150 Russian diplomats from the U.K., U.S. and other allies.

In the event of non-compliance, the official added, a second round of "draconian" sanctions would be given a green light. "Vladimir Putin must know that we will not tolerate his deadly acts, or his ongoing attacks on our democratic process", Royce said Wednesday.

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The new sanctions will not fully take effect until later in August, but already the Russian ruble tumbled to two-year lows and nervous investors began selling off Russian assets.

The UK blames Russia, but the Russian government strongly denies any involvement.

Mr Putin, himself a former KGB spy, said earlier this month Mr Skripal would have been dead if he was attacked with a weapons-grade agent.

Russian Federation will decide on retaliatory measures to United States sanctions imposed over a nerve agent attack in Britain blamed on Moscow, which it denies, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

The higher price of oil, however, has given Russia's government a large financial cushion to maintain public services and to assist business magnates targeted by USA sanctions.

"In practice this will mean we are imposing a "presumption of denial" upon export licences for USA -origin national security-sensitive goods and technology to any Russian state-owned or state-funded enterprise", the official said in a conference call with reporters.

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

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a television interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 17, 2018, as he defends President Donald Trump and his Helsinki news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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