U.S. to impose new sanctions on Russia

FAN Editor

The Trump administration will impose new sanctions on Russia, alleging that President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government used a chemical weapon to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in an assassination attempt in Great Britain, the State Department said Wednesday.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert released a statement explaining the sanctions.

“Following the use of a ‘Novichok’ nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate U.K. 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,” Nauert said Wednesday. “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.”

Skripal and his daughter were poisoned at their home in Salisbury, England, in March. Skripal was a former Russian spy who worked as a double agent for British intelligence. He was imprisoned in Russia, but was exchanged with Britain in a 2010 spy swap. The United Kingdom blamed Russia for the attack, resulting in the expulsion 150 Russian diplomats from the U.K., U.S. and other allies.

Two other British citizens fell ill due to Novichok exposure in late June in a town close to Salisbury. One of them, Dawn Sturgess, died eight days later. Investigators believe she found the substance in a discarded bottle and thought it was perfume.

President Trump met with Putin at a summit in Helsinki, Finland, in July. The summit was widely criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike, fearing that Mr. Trump was too conciliatory to Putin.

Kylie Atwood contributed to this report.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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