Washington: The US has slapped sanctions on Russia over the nerve agent attack in Britain in March, it was announced on Wednesday.
US imposes new sanctions on Russia for alleged UK nerve agent attack on former spy.
AFP story: https://t.co/LXCzNzXDT5
Interactive graphic on chemical weapons: https://t.co/LvtvUMHniL pic.twitter.com/l6vsiPA0dj— AFP news agency (@AFP) August 9, 2018
US TV network NBC reported that the first tranche of new US sanctions would ban licenses for export of sensitive national security goods to Russia.
The second sanctions tranche could downgrade diplomatic relations, suspend Russian flagcarrier Aeroflot's ability to fly to the US and cut nearly all exports and imports, according to the report.
BREAKING: Trump admin. is hitting Russia with new sanctions punishing President Putin's government for using a chemical weapon against an ex-spy in Britain, US officials tell @NBCNews. https://t.co/wV3cq2bk1T - @JoshNBCNews— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 8, 2018
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the sanctions will go into effect around Aug. 22.
The US determined "the Government of the Russian Federation has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals," Nauert says.
Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia collapsed in the city of Salisbury on March 4 after being exposed to the nerve agent Novichok, both have since recovered.
Russia's currency, which was already facing its worst day against the US dollar since April, sank even further after the sanctions were announced.
The dollar touched its highest level against the ruble since November 2016.
Nauert said: "Following the use of a 'Novichok' nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate UK citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal, the United States, on August 6, 2018, determined under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act) that the Government of the Russian Federation has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals.
"Following a 15-day Congressional notification period, these sanctions will take effect upon publication of a notice in the Federal Register, expected on or around August 22, 2018."