Wash­ing­ton pre­pares more Rus­sia sanc­tions over al­leged Bri­tain nerve at­tack

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

The US said Tues­day it was pre­par­ing more sanc­tions against Moscow over the al­leged as­sas­si­na­tion in Bri­tain of a for­mer spy, af­ter a pre­vi­ous round sowed chaos on Rus­sian mar­kets.

Three months af­ter the US de­clared that Rus­sia vi­o­lated a US law that seeks the elim­i­na­tion of chem­i­cal and bi­o­log­i­cal weapons, the State De­part­ment told Congress in a legally-man­dated fol­lowup that Moscow had not come into com­pli­ance.

“We in­tend to pro­ceed in ac­cor­dance with the terms of the [Chem­i­cal and Bi­o­log­i­cal Weapons] Act, which di­rects the im­ple­men­ta­tion of ad­di­tional sanc­tions,” State De­part­ment spokesper­son Heather Nauert said in a state­ment.

She said the State De­part­ment was in dis­cus­sions with Congress, which has led the push to pun­ish Rus­sia, to de­ter­mine the ex­act mea­sures.

Bri­tish in­ves­ti­ga­tors said Rus­sian op­er­a­tives on March 4 tried to kill Sergei Skri­pal, a for­mer in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer and dou­ble agent, and his daugh­ter Yu­lia Skri­pal in the English city of Sal­is­bury.

The at­tack in­volved Novi­chok, a mil­i­tary-grade nerve agent de­vel­oped by the So­viet Union dur­ing the Cold War. The two Rus­sians sur­vived but a third per­son died af­ter ex­po­sure.

Un­der the US law, the State De­part­ment must slap fur­ther sanc­tions three months af­ter its ini­tial de­ter­mi­na­tion un­less a coun­try proves it has re­versed course on chem­i­cal and bi­o­log­i­cal weapons, for ex­am­ple by invit­ing in in­ter­na­tional in­spec­tors.

Rus­sia has de­nied in­volve­ment in the Sal­is­bury at­tacks and has promised re­cip­ro­cal mea­sures to all US sanc­tions.

Rus­sian Prime Min­is­ter Dmitry Medvedev warned in Au­gust that any im­po­si­tion of fur­ther sanc­tions would con­sti- tute a “dec­la­ra­tion of eco­nomic war.”

The Krem­lin said new sanc­tions would be il­le­gal and that Rus­sia would re­spond with sim­i­lar mea­sures.

And in com­ments af­ter Democrats seized con­trol of the lower house of the US Congress in Tues­day’s midterm elec­tions, Rus­sia said it did not fore­see bi­lat­eral ties im­prov­ing any time soon.

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