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Donald Trump's administration hits Russian Federation with new sanctions over spy poisoning

Donald Trump's administration hits Russian Federation with new sanctions over spy poisoning”

The Trump administration will impose sanctions on Russia under a chemical and biological warfare law following the poisoning of a former Russian agent and his daughter in the United Kingdom earlier this year, the State Department announced Wednesday.

The US Government said it would impose fresh sanctions on Russia after it determined that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian agent and his daughter in the UK.

Those sanctions will include the presumed denial of export licenses for Russian Federation to purchase many items with national security implications, according to a senior State Department official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to do so by name.

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.

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.

The U.S. made a similar determination in February when it found that North Korea used a chemical weapon to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half brother at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2017. The measures are scheduled to go into effect on or around August 22, according to the State Department.

Acting in tandem with governments in Europe, the United States expelled 60 Russian diplomats it said were spies several weeks later.

They were found in a serious condition on a bench in The Maltings shopping centre, and the discovery of the substance sparked a city-wide investigation with police having to cordon off large areas, including where they had eaten dinner that evening.

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

Later on, London claimed that the Novichok-class toxin had been developed in Russian Federation. The US still wants to maintain relations with Moscow, despite the new sanctions.



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