Russia calls new U.S. sanctions draconian, rejects poisoning allegations

Russia calls new U.S. sanctions draconian, rejects poisoning allegations

The US State Department said on Wednesday it would impose fresh sanctions by the month's end after determining that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, in Britain.

The Kremlin has flown into a rage after Washington announced new economic sanctions against Russian Federation over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4.

"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".

The Kremlin on Thursday branded as "unacceptable" new U.S. sanctions against Russia over its alleged role in a nerve agent attack on a former spy, as the ruble and Russian stocks tumbled.

A senior State Department official estimated the sanctions could affect hundreds of millions of dollars in trade with Russian Federation.

In a statement issued by its embassy in Washington, Russia called charges that Moscow employed chemical weapons "far fetched" - arguing the USA lacked evidence, and repeating demands for a new investigation into the poisoning.

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. One of the victims, Dawn Sturgess, later died, leading police to launch a murder inquiry.

Thursday, the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., said the new fiscal penalties are misguided, and called them "draconian, not backed by evidence" and "just another output in the US sanctions' assembly line". He said the new sanctions amount to "inflicting a punishment in the absence of a crime, in the tradition of lynch law". Anger over what some United States lawmakers saw as a too-deferential performance by Trump and his failure to confront Putin over Moscow's alleged meddling in USA politics galvanized a new sanctions push against Moscow.

The Russian economy is still reeling from worldwide sanctions imposed on Moscow in 2014 over its actions in Ukraine and a crash in oil prices the same year. The Washington Post reported that the 10-page order would give the president the authority to impose sanctions on "10 of the 30 largest business entities" in a country whose government has interfered in an election.

Zakharova told reporters at a briefing that no evidence had been presented to prove Russia's blame, and that the pretext for the new round of sanctions had been made up. Royce had previously accused Trump of ignoring the Russian nerve agent attack.

"In recent years, Vladimir Putin has steadily escalated his campaign to consolidate power and undermine the United States", Royce said in the letter.

The surprise announcement by the US State Department was welcomed by the British government.

Sanctions waivers are in place for certain key sectors, including space flight activities and commercial aviation safety, the official said. 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.