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U.S. sanctions 'categorically unacceptable,' says Putin spokesman

10 August 2018

In late March, Trump ordered 60 more Russian diplomats expelled from the United States as part of a global response to the attack - a response that included similar expulsions of diplomats from other nations checking Russia.

The news came as Republican US Senator Rand Paul said he had delivered a letter from US President Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin proposing cooperation.

The United States on Wednesday announced it would impose fresh sanctions on Russia after Washington determined Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, in Britain.

Under the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act, the president must determine whether a country has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of global law or used "lethal biological weapons against its own nationals", the State Department said.

Analysts in Moscow said it was highly unlikely that Putin would allow inspectors to enter the country to head off the additional sanctions, since doing so would look like succumbing to USA pressure.

"If they dream up some (measures), we will answer - it's not our choice".

"In our view, these and earlier restrictions are absolutely unlawful and don't conform to global law", Peskov said.

"We consider categorically unacceptable the linking of new restrictions, which we as before consider illegal, to the case in Salisbury", he told journalists.

The Russian ruble plummeted to its lowest level against the dollar since 2016 on Thursday as Washington prepares to penalize Moscow for a chemical attack in the United Kingdom earlier this year. The sharp decline in oil prices has negatively affected growth, while sanctions have impaired access to global markets.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the government and central bank had the tools to maintain financial stability and would use them if necessary. Among other measures, it would put sanctions on any transactions related to Russian energy projects and new Russian sovereign debt, as well ban American individuals and businesses from working with Russian oil projects.

"The Russian economy, the balance of payments, have become much more resilient to external pressure in recent years", Siluanov said.

Russian Federation is bracing for yet more US sanctions beyond the ones announced by the State Department on Wednesday.

Instead, he said there were also delays in triggering the same type of US sanctions after the two most recent chemical or biological attacks, one in Sryia by the Assad regime and another perpetrated by North Korea.

Such technologies have often been used in items including electronic devices as well as calibration equipment.

They also banned some of the major business leaders with ties to the Russian government from coming into the European Union and US.

Russian lawmaker Sergei Ryabukhin made the remarks Thursday, saying Moscow could cut off supplies of the RD-180 rocket engines to the U.S.

Russia's financial stability assessments from the independent worldwide observers highlight risks and further slowdown in growth.

U.S. sanctions 'categorically unacceptable,' says Putin spokesman