Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

United States imposes sanctions on Russian Federation over Skripal poisonings in Salisbury

United States imposes sanctions on Russian Federation over Skripal poisonings in Salisbury

"The strong worldwide response to the use of a chemical weapon on the streets of Salisbury sends an unequivocal message to Russian Federation that its provocative, reckless behaviour will not go unchallenged".

The State Department said in a statement that under the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act, Russia was found to have "used chemical or biological weapons in violation of worldwide law or had used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals".

On March 4, Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been convicted in Russia for spying for the United Kingdom but later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury.

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.

"Following a 15-day Congressional notification period, these sanctions will take effect upon publication of a notice in the Federal Register, expected on or around August 22, 2018".

PA Wire/PA Images Yulia Skripal, who was contaminated with the nerve agent Novichok along with her father Sergei Skripal.

Police think the novichok was sprayed or smeared on their front doorknob with a perfume bottle.

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

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

A couple from Salisbury, Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess, came into contact with the same deadly batch of nerve agent nearly three months later on June 30.

Russia's embassy in London said they had not received any extradition requests over allegations any of its citizens were involved in the novichok poisonings.

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