USA hits Russian Federation with sanctions over nerve agent attack

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Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in March 2018.

A State Department official said the sanctions could have a significant impact on trade with Russian Federation.

Washington said on Wednesday it would impose fresh sanctions on Russia by the end of August after it determined that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian agent and his daughter in Britain.

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.


Since the March attack, two other British nationals with no ties to Russian Federation have been poised by the substance.

The State Department said the sanctions tied to the use of chemical weapons are expected to take effect around August 22 but didn't immediately say what they would entail.

The State Department said the sanctions were in response to "the use of a "Novichok" nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate United Kingdom citizen Sergei Skripal" - who was a double agent - and his daughter Yulia in March.

Sergei, a former KGB colonel, and Yulia were fighting for life but eventually made a full recovery after spending weeks in intensive care.


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

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.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously denied allegations that Russia was behind the poisonings, saying in March that it was "unthinkable that we would do such a thing".

On June 30, a British couple were poisoned by Novichok in a nearby town - 44-year-old mother-of-three Dawn Sturgess subsequently died.


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