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USA imposes sanctions on Russian Federation over Skripal poisonings in Salisbury

08 August 2018

The US State Department has for the first time explicitly blamed the nerve agent attack against ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on Vladimir Putin's government.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, accused Britain of making baseless accusations over the poisonings and suggested the case could be driven by domestic issues in the United Kingdom.

While Trump has cast doubt on USA intelligence agencies' finding that Russia interfered in the election and sought to help him win, his administration has repeatedly expanded US sanctions on Russia as top officials have reaffirmed the findings on Russian election interference.

The U.S. made a similar determination in February when it found that North Korea used a chemical weapon to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half brother at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2017.

The Skripals fell unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury, Wilts, on March 4 after being exposed to a military-grade nerve agent determined to be Novichok.

Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia were in intensive care for several weeks after being poisoned with the chemical substance at his home in Salisbury in March.

"The United Kingdom thoroughly briefed its allies that it was highly likely that Russian Federation was responsible for the attack", the governments said in a joint statement on March 15. Police believe the couple accidentally found a bottle containing Novichok.

The US will impose sanctions on Russia under a chemical and biological warfare law following the poisoning of a former Russian agent and his daughter in the United Kingdom earlier this year, the State Department announced Wednesday.

USA imposes sanctions on Russian Federation over Skripal poisonings in Salisbury