U.S. Sanctions Put Russia on Edge

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

Although the U.S. 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 United States law on chemical weapons.

Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, along with daughter Yulia, was found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury.

He criticized the USA decision to link the sanctions to the British nerve agent case, an incident the Kremlin has long cast as a Western plot to damage its reputation and provide a pretext for more sanctions.

Police think the novichok was sprayed or smeared on their front doorknob with a perfume bottle. "And it's unlikely they're in any way associated with the complicated but constructive atmosphere of the last meeting between the two presidents".

British Prime Minister Theresa May welcomed the USA decision.

After pressure from Republican members of Congress, the state department has determined Moscow broke global law by using a military-grade chemical weapon on the Skripals.

The Novichuk poisoning incident was claimed by Britain's government, but contested by Russian Federation.

The action by the US State Department is the latest salvo in a series of disputes between the rival powers, and comes less than a month after US President Donald Trump met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

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He was also referring to the Trump administration's decision to separate migrant children from their parents. In a tweet, Trump took aim at two of his regular critics, James and cable TV news personality Don Lemon .

According to U.S. media reports, the new measures include a ban on granting licenses to export sensitive national security goods to Russian Federation.

Russia's biggest airline Aeroflot came in the spotlight after Washington said before Moscow's market opening that it was considering suspending the company's flights to the United States.

Analysts in Moscow said it was highly unlikely that Putin would allow inspectors to enter the country to head off the additional sanctions, since doing so would look like succumbing to US pressure. He insisted that Russia's financial system is strong enough to withstand shocks from the new penalties.

The ruble sank to 66.48 against the dollar, its lowest since November 2016, while the Russian stock market index RTS dropped 3.2 percent and the MOEX almost 1.2 percent at around 0745 GMT, before rebounding slightly. A ban on Aeroflot flights to the United States could lead to a ban on USA airlines traversing Russian airspace.

Several members of Congress had expressed concern that the Trump administration was dragging its feet on the determination and had missed a deadline to publish its findings.

A United Kingdom investigation blamed Russian Federation for the Novichok attack.

Last week, a group of Democrat and Republican senators introduced a bill that would impose some of the toughest sanctions ever placed on modern Russian Federation. Not everything that is mandatory under the act we will be proceeding with at this time.

Weren't Trump and Putin pally recently?

His administration has sanctioned a number of Russian officials and oligarchs for human rights abuses and election meddling.

Sanctions will go into effect on August 22 after a mandatory waiting period, the State Department said. The spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said it was too early to talk about Russian countermeasures because the full scope of the US sanctions was not yet known.

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