Date
21 November 2018
Moscow has failed to give reasonable assurances that it will comply with the Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act, the US State Department says. Photo: Bloomberg
Moscow has failed to give reasonable assurances that it will comply with the Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act, the US State Department says. Photo: Bloomberg

US to issue chemical weapons-related sanctions against Russia

The US State Department said on Tuesday that it will impose additional sanctions on Russia as Moscow has failed to give reasonable assurances that it will not use chemical weapons after a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in England, Reuters reports.

The department in August had threatened Russia with added sanctions after 90 days unless it complied with the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act.

Under the law, Russia had to end the use of the nerve agent Novichok, which was used in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March, commit to not using chemical weapons against its own people, and allow on-site inspections by agencies like the United Nations.

“Today, the department informed Congress we could not certify that the Russian Federation met the conditions,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert was quoted as saying in a statement.

“We intend to proceed in accordance with the terms of the CBW Act, which directs the implementation of additional sanctions,” she added.

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 Novichok was applied to his home’s front door. Both survived the attack.

European countries and the US expelled 100 Russian diplomats after the attack, in the strongest action by President Donald Trump against Russia since he came to office.

Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attack.

An initial round of sanctions in August related to the Skripal poisoning targeted Russian national-security controlled goods. The second round of sanctions would be “more draconian,” the State Department said at the time.

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RC

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