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USA to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation over Skripal poisoning

USA to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation over Skripal poisoning

The action is aimed at punishing President Vladimir Putin's government for having "used chemical or biological weapons in violation of global law", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, and his daughter Yulia Skripal were hospitalized and treated for a nerve-agent attack in March.

"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", the department continued.

Russian Federation denies involvement in the attack and has accused Britain of failing to share its evidence.

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

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.

In March, the Trump administration ordered 60 Russian diplomats - all of whom it said were spies - to leave the United States and closed down Russia's consulate in Seattle in response to the Skripal case.

Charlie Rowley, 45, was released from a hospital last month, but his partner, Dawn Sturgess, 44, died after exposure.

The Government has been consistent in pointing the finger of blame at Moscow for the poisoning using novichok - a military-grade nerve agent developed by the former Soviet Union. But unless Russia agrees within 90 days to stop all use of chemical weapons and permit inspections to confirm their elimination, additionally mandated measures could cut off nearly all trade between the two countries, prohibit landing rights for Russian airlines, and lead to a suspension of diplomatic relations.

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

The White House did not immediately send out a statement on the sanctions.

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