US sanctions on Russia tied to UK nerve agent attack to kick in on Monday

24 August 2018 - 17:18 By Reuters
The US dollar sign is seen on an electronic board next to a traffic light in Moscow on August 10 2018. Fresh US sanctions against Russia will take effect on Monday relating to its use of a nerve agent against a former Russian agent and his daughter in Britain.
The US dollar sign is seen on an electronic board next to a traffic light in Moscow on August 10 2018. Fresh US sanctions against Russia will take effect on Monday relating to its use of a nerve agent against a former Russian agent and his daughter in Britain.
Image: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

US sanctions against Russia tied to a nerve agent attack in Britain, which were announced earlier this month, will officially take effect on Monday, according to a notice posted on Friday at the Federal Register.

The measures will terminate foreign assistance and some arms sales and financing to Russia, as well as deny the country credit and prohibit the export of security-sensitive goods and technology.

They will be formally published and come into effect on August 27, according to the notice in the register, a daily catalogue of actions and regulations at government agencies.

Plans to impose the sanctions, which add to a raft of existing US sanctions against Russia, were announced by the Trump administration on August 8 for what the state department said was Moscow's use of a nerve agent against a former Russian agent and his daughter in Britain.

Sergei Skripal, a former colonel in Russia's GRU military intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, were found slumped unconscious on a bench in the southern English city of Salisbury in March after a liquid form of the Novichok type of nerve agent was applied to his home's front door. Both survived the attack.

The US sanctions would cover sensitive national-security controlled goods under the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act.

A second batch of penalties will be imposed after 90 days unless Russia gives "reliable assurance" that it would no longer use chemical weapons and allow on-site inspections by the UN or another international observer group.

Space flight activities, government space co-operation and areas covering commercial aviation safety would be exempted from the limits, according to the notice in the Federal Register, which said the exemptions are "essential to the national security interests of the US."

Urgent humanitarian assistance and food would also be allowed, the notice said.

The measures will add to existing US sanctions on Russia, including those imposed for its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

Moscow has denied involvement in the nerve agent attack in Britain, and has also denied interference in the 2016 election. 


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