Economy

US imposes sanctions on Russia for nerve agent attack in UK

US imposes sanctions on Russia for nerve agent attack in UK

Yet the American leader was roundly criticized by members of both parties in Congress for what many perceived as an overly conciliatory performance at a summit meeting with Vladimir Putin leader in Helsinki last month.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the USA move runs contrary to a "constructive" atmosphere at the Trump-Putin summit last month, and he strongly denied any Russian role in the poisoning in Britain.

In the event of non-compliance, the official added, a second round of "draconian" sanctions would be given a green light.

Elaborating in a briefing today, a State Department official said the most significant sanction is "the imposition of a presumption of denial for all national security sensitive goods or technologies that are controlled by the Department of Commerce pursuant to the Export Administration Regulations".

Acting in tandem with governments in Europe, the United States expelled 60 Russian diplomats it said were spies several weeks later.

Others in the country expressed alarm and dismay over the US move, which threatened to diminish hopes of improved bilateral ties.

"There is local panic on the currency market", BCS Brokerage said in a note.

"We consider the tying of new restrictions - which as previously we consider illegal - with the affair in Salisbury to be categorically unacceptable", Peskov told reporters during his daily telephone briefing.

In response, Peskov said it was too early to talk about counter measures, suggesting the Kremlin does not want to escalate the situation too soon. But U.S. officials had not yet confirmed the use of banned nerve agents in the attack.

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The former Russian double agent and his daughter were found unconscious on a bench in the town of Salisbury, England, on March 4.

Russia's embassy in the United States called new U.S. sanctions draconian and said the reason for the new restrictions - allegations it poisoned a former spy and his daughter in Britain - were far-fetched. Moscow has been blamed for the poisonings, but has denied any involvement.

The news came as Republican US Senator Rand Paul said he had delivered a letter from US President Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin proposing cooperation.

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee, said the U.S. is behaving like a "police state, threatening and torturing a suspect to get evidence".

The Trump administration said Wednesday that it would slap new sanctions on Russian Federation in retaliation for the poisoning of an ex-spy in England.

"They are not an instrument, but the policy itself".

At variance with Moscow over Ukraine and Syria, Western sanctions have already drastically reduced Western involvement in Russian energy and commodities projects, including large-scale financing and exploration of hard-to-recover and deep-water resources.

Although the United States joined European countries in publicly blaming Moscow within days of the attack, the Trump administration never issued a formal triggering of sanctions under its decades-old U.S. law on chemical weapons.