Trump Administration Sanctions Russia Over Spy Poisoning, After Rebuke From Congress

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were attacked with novichok and found slumped on a bench in Salisbury in March

Image Sergei and Yulia Skripal were attacked with novichok and found slumped on a bench in Salisbury in March

Vladimir Putin has ordered that a proposal to raise 500 billion roubles ($7.5 billion) a year from metal and mining firms be looked at, but the Russian president has not decided whether to approve the plan by a Kremlin economic aide.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov says new sanctions by the U.S.

Instead of starting to look for ways to improve relations as was discussed during the Putin-Trump summit in Helsinki in July, "the US administration spares no efforts to complicate the situation even more", she said.

The sanctions would cover sensitive national-security controlled goods, a senior State Department official told reporters on a conference call, citing the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act.

Russian Federation has 90 days to "provide assurances" that it will not use chemical weapons in the future and allow inspections.

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The White House said on Friday the United States strongly condemned Russia's use of chemical weapons against a former Russian agent in Britain, two days after the U.S. State Department announced sanctions over the move.

The Russian rouble sank to its lowest level since early June 2016 on Friday, battered by concerns over the impact of new USA sanctions, falling oil prices and a broadly stronger dollar.

European countries and the United States expelled 100 Russian diplomats after the attack, in the strongest action by President Donald Trump against Russia since he came to office.

With more Congressional pushes for yet more sanctions, Russian Federation issued a warning Friday that further sanctions amount to a "declaration of economic war" against Russian Federation.

In Moscow, the ruble shed as much as 5% against the dollar on Thursday and stocks plunged as much as 9%, led by state banks and national carrier PJSC Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, which risk losing access to USA markets if the sanctions escalate.

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The Russian ruble kept weakening against the USA dollar for the second day on Thursday in wake of the new sanctions. That could do significantly more economic harm and have a lasting, destabilizing effect on the currency and stock markets.

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

Russian Federation will decide on retaliatory measures to U.S. sanctions imposed over a nerve agent attack in Britain blamed on Moscow, which it denies, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Lavrov and Pompeo also discussed issues on the worldwide agenda, including the situation in Syria, and other topics considered during the meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his USA counterpart Donald Trump in Helsinki on July 16.

"Vladimir Putin must know that we will not tolerate his deadly acts, or his ongoing attacks on our democratic process", Royce said.

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".Such decisions taken by the American side are absolutely unfriendly and can hardly be somehow associated with the constructive - not simple but constructive - atmosphere that there was at the last meeting of the two presidents", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. The UK and its allies have blamed Russian Federation for the attack.

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