United States justification for sanctions 'far-fetched' - Russian Federation

U.S. orders new sanctions against Russia over chemical attack in Britain

Since the March attack, two other British nationals with no ties to Russian Federation were poisoned with novichok.

Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal were hospitalized and treated for a nerve-agent attack in March. It is too early to speak of Moscow's retaliatory measures against the new U.S. sanctions, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

It said Congress was being notified of the August 6 determination and that the sanctions would take effect on or around August 22, when the finding is to be published in the Federal Register. The first, which targets United States exports of sensitive national-security related goods, comes with deep exemptions and numerous items it covers have already been banned by previous restrictions.

The second round of sanctions, which includes downgrading diplomatic relations, banning the Russian airline Aeroflot from flying to the USA and cutting off almost all exports and imports, will reportedly be imposed three months after the first one, unless Russian authorities provide "reliable assurances" that they won't use chemical weapons in the future and agree to "on-site inspections" by independent monitors.

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

The Russian embassy in the U.S. hit back on Thursday morning, criticising what it called "far-fetched accusations" from the United States that Russia was behind the attack.

Under the law, once the government determines that a country has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of global law, it must impose sanctions.

Moscow has been blamed for the poisonings, but has denied any involvement.

"We heard the official statements [of the US] about the so-called new sanctions and we heard some high-profile source saying that some restrictions could be introduced against Russia", Peskov stressed. It's also not clear why the USA chose to wait five months after the expulsions to impose the sanctions.

In order to shore up the 2017 Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, the draft legislation would also create an "Office of Sanctions Coordination" within the State Department to coordinate work with the Treasury.

The Novichok attack on March 4 left former Russian intelligence officer Sergei and Yulia fighting for life, but they eventually made a full recovery after spending weeks in intensive care. That could include the US withdrawing support for worldwide loans and USA bank loans, blocking Russian airlines from landing in the USA, and suspending diplomatic relations.

Rand Paul - who has been one of Trump's few defenders over the Helsinki summit delivered a letter to Putin from Trump that he said emphasized a desire for greater cooperation in counterterrorism and cultural exchanges.

The Trump administration has also already responded to the nerve agent poisonings. Washington ordered 60 diplomats to leave and closed the Russian consulate general in Seattle.

According to a statement by the six senators, the bill seeks to punish Russia for its "continued interference in our elections, malign influence in Syria, aggression in Crimea, and other activities" and targets investments in energy projects supported by the Russian government both in the country and overseas.

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