US Will Sanction Russia After UK Nerve Agent Attack

US imposes sanctions on Russia over Skripal poisonings in Salisbury

US imposes sanctions on Russia over Skripal poisonings in Salisbury

The Trump administration will impose new sanctions on Russia, alleging that President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government used a chemical weapon to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in an assassination attempt in Great Britain, the State Department said Wednesday.

The Skripals fell unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury, Wilts, on March 4 after being exposed to a military-grade nerve agent determined to be Novichok.

The sanctions will take effect on or around August 22 - and come at a time when President Trump has been trying to improve relations between the USA and Russian Federation.

"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 behavior will not go unchallenged". Waivers have been issued for foreign assistance and space flight activities, while commercial passenger aviation and other commercial goods for civilian use will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, according to the official who briefed reporters.

The move was announced today by the USA state department.

Washington had already expelled dozens of Russian diplomats from the U.S. over the poisoning.

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A blazing diplomatic row ensued between London and Moscow in the following weeks and months after the Scotland Yard-led investigation attributed blame to Russian Federation.

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.

Reports earlier this week that the United Kingdom was preparing to request the extradition of two Russians it suspected of being behind the attack were found to be less advanced than initially suggested, Sky sources said.

London and its allies have accused Moscow of trying to kill the Skripals and says the two cases are likely linked.

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

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