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US to slap new sanctions on Russia over nerve agent attack in Britain

Press Trust of India  |  New York 

The said today it would impose new sanctions against to punish for the use of a in the attempted killing of a former and his daughter in Britain.

The State Department said in a brief statement that the sanctions were in response to "the use of a 'Novichok' in an attempt to assassinate UK citizen and his daughter in March".

The US, on August 6, determined that the "has used or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used or biological weapons against its own nationals," State Department said in a statement.

The statement said that following a 15-day Congressional notification period, these sanctions will take effect around August 22.

has rejected allegations levelled by the UK that was behind the deadly nerve-agent attack in the English city of on March 4 that had left Skripal and his daughter hospitalised in critical condition.

The sanctions are mandated under the and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991, which "requires the to make a determination with respect to whether a country has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used or biological weapons against its own nationals," the State Department said.

quoted a State Department as saying that the sanctions could have a significant impact on trade with Russia, including prohibition of licenses on sending some US goods there, such as

"But unless agrees within 90 days to stop all use of and permit inspections to confirm their elimination, additionally mandated measures could cut off almost all trade between the two countries, prohibit landing rights for Russian airlines, and lead to a suspension of diplomatic relations," report said.

In March, the had ordered the expulsion of 60 Russians from the US, following similar actions taken by other countries in the wake of the allegation by the UK that Russia was behind the attack.

Of the 60 expelled, 12 are intelligence operatives from the to the who have been accused of abusing their privilege of residence in the

"After a review, we have determined that the 12 intelligence operatives engaged in espionage activities that are adverse to our national security. Our actions are consistent with the UN Headquarters Agreement," US to the UN Nikki Haley had said.

Russia had responded with a similar number of diplomatic expulsions and ordered the closure of the US consulate in St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, August 09 2018. 07:35 IST
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