U.S. to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation for nerve attack in UK

Specialist officers in protective suits investigate the bench where Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found

MATT CARDY GETTY IMAGES Specialist officers in protective suits investigate the bench where Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, speaking to reporters on a conference call, said the U.S. move was "absolutely unfriendly", but said Moscow continued to hope that for an improvement in battered U.S. -Russia relations.

Peskov on Thursday gave no indication that Russian Federation would accept the US criteria or permit any inspections.

The U.S. State Department said on August 8 that the sanctions were imposed following the use of the "novichok" nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate Skripal and his daughter.

The Kremlin on Thursday branded as "unacceptable" new USA sanctions against Russia over its alleged role in a nerve agent attack on a former spy, as the ruble and Russian stocks tumbled.

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

However, the second tranche, activated after 90 days if Moscow fails to provide "reliable assurances" it will no longer use chemical weapons and allow on-site inspections by the United Nations or other worldwide observer groups, is more serious.

He added that the U.S. move was "absolutely unfriendly", but reiterated Moscow's hope for improvements to the stressed relations between the two countries. The Russian embassy in Washington has accused the U.S. of running a "sanctions assembly line".

If Moscow does not comply, a second round of sanctions could further downgrade diplomatic relations with Russian Federation.

"Trump is the master of media manipulation, and the decision to sanction Russia over the Skripal assassination attempt comes, not coincidentally, as pressure mounts on the president to react to the widespread condemnation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election", Professor Michael Cullinane, a reader in USA history at the University of Roehampton, told i. He insisted that Russia's financial system is strong enough to withstand shocks from the new penalties.

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What authorities found was what Hogrefe called "the saddest living conditions and poverty " he has seen in 30 years on the job. Two of the children and the other woman were found in a 2006 Ford moving van that deputies believe they were living in.

The announcement of sanctions caused Russian stock markets to drop dramatically on opening and the ruble reached its lowest point since November 2016.

Russian banks were also affected, with shares in state-run Sberbank sliding 4.7 percent.

The US is trying to play up this "anti-Russian topic as a way to continue demonizing Russia" and make it appear that it is not fulfilling its worldwide obligations, Zakharova said.

Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) wrote to President Trump on July 26 that enforcement of the Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 in Russia's UK Novichok attack "is critical to deterring additional attacks".

"Frankly, the tariffs against China will have a greater impact than this latest round of sanctions on Russian Federation". "Vladimir Putin must know that we will not tolerate his deadly acts, or his ongoing attacks on our democratic process".

Three weeks after Trump's widely panned meeting with Putin in Helsinki, the direction of the relationship remains shrouded in confusion. His administration has sanctioned a number of Russian officials and oligarchs for human rights abuses and election meddling.

Once that determination is made, the president has no choice but to impose sanctions unless he determines that it is not in the security interest of the United States and decides to waive the mandate. The U.S. said at the time it was the largest expulsion of Russian spies in American history.

Earlier Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert released a statement explaining the sanctions.

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