Russia Says US Sanctions are Intended to 'Demonize' the Country

Fredrick Soto
August 10, 2018

Under the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act, the president must determine whether a country has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of global law or used "lethal biological weapons against its own nationals", the State Department said.

The State Department announced the penalties on Wednesday - a response to the poisoning last March of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, in the British town of Salisbury.

Russia's embassy in the United States called the new U.S. sanctions draconian and said the reason for the new restrictions - allegations it had poisoned the Skripals in Britain - was far-fetched.

The US sanctions are due to come into force around August 22 and are expected to include an export ban on sensitive national security technology and goods - some of which have already been banned by previous restrictions.

"Thank you U.S. for standing firm with us on this".

Meanwhile, questions are being asked about a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin that was hand-delivered by U.S. Senator Rand Paul on a visit to Moscow. One of the hardest hit was Aeroflot, the Russian state airline, which could lose its ability to fly to the United States as a possible effect of the new sanctions.

Peskov was referring to the nerve-agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March.

"Making a linking to these events is for us unacceptable and such restrictions like those passed by the American side earlier. are absolutely illegal and do not correspond to global law", said Peskov.

State Department officials told reporters on a call that the economic impact of the sanctions would be in the range of "hundreds of millions of dollars" and would target electronic devices and engines, for example.

"We confirmed that we continue to strongly stand for an open and transparent investigation of the crime committed in Salisbury and for bringing the culprits to justice". These could go as far as a ban on Russian airlines using U.S. airports.

More worrying for Russian Federation, however, is that the law cited by the administration includes a second provision that will impose a second round of far more punishing sanctions on Moscow if it now fails to comply with the legislation within 90 days.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said this afternoon that Moscow was starting to work on measures following Washington's decision to impose sanctions, which she claimed were using the Salisbury attacks in March as a pretext.

"In our view, these and earlier restrictions are absolutely unlawful and don't conform to worldwide law", Mr Peskov said. "Your compliance with the Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 is critical to showing Putin that we are serious about challenging his deadly acts, as well as his ongoing attacks on our democracy".

The novichok-type nerve agent was found on the front door of Skripal's home.

"Frankly, the tariffs against China will have a greater impact than this latest round of sanctions on Russian Federation". Dawn Sturgess later died while her partner, Charlie Rowley, spent three weeks recovering in hospital.

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