Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

US Novichok Sanctions: Kremlin's Claim its Financial System Secure - Inaccurate

US Novichok Sanctions: Kremlin's Claim its Financial System Secure - Inaccurate

The Trump administration announced fresh sanctions on Russia over a nerve agent assassination attempt on a former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, who had been living in the United Kingdom.

The new sanctions were to take effect following a 15-day Congressional notification period, she said.

Skripal, a former colonel in Russia's GRU military intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter were found slumped unconscious on a bench in the southern English city of Salisbury in March after a liquid form of the Novichok type of nerve agent was applied to his home's front door.

The US expelled a number of Russian diplomats as part of an global response to the attack, when the former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were taken ill in March.

With those possible exemptions in mind, the State Department estimated the value of the new sanctions could "reach potentially hundreds of millions of dollars".

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 USA pressure.

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 global obligations, Zakharova said. The United Kingdom blamed Russia for the attack, resulting in the expulsion of 150 Russian diplomats from the U.K., U.S. and other allies. "Such a message might not go down well in Moscow", Prof Cullinane added.

He added that the USA move was "absolutely unfriendly", but reiterated Moscow's hope for improvements to the stressed relations between the two countries.

Washington had become an unpredictable player on the global stage, Peskov added, saying "anything could be expected" from it and that it was important that Russia's financial system, which he described as stable, was prepared.

The US administration is obliged to act, under legislation, if chemical or biological weapons have been used. The shares of Russian state-controlled banks, the national carrier Aeroflot and other companies also tanked.

The new prohibitions, which come into effect on August 22, could cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in future exports to Russian Federation.

Russian Federation has vehemently denied any involvement in the poisoning.

A State Department official said the sanctions could have a significant impact on trade with Russian Federation. British police scoured sections of Salisbury and Amesbury in southwest England, searching for a container feared to be contaminated with traces of the deadly nerve agent Novichok.

Lawmakers from Russia's ruling party accused USA politicians of treating the country like a punching bag in their partisan infighting and in midterm campaigning. Yet the American leader was roundly criticized by members of both parties in Congress for what many perceived as an overly conciliatory performance at a summit meeting with Vladimir Putin leader in Helsinki last month. Rand Paul hand-delivered a letter from Mr. Trump to Putin, asking for "expanding dialogue".

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