The US authorities introduced new sanctions against Russia for the attack on the paralytic gas against former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in the UK.
The planned actions put additional pressure on the ruble, pushing it to its lowest value since November 2016. The Russian currency and the yields of government bonds fell as investors worried about a separate draft bill proposed by the US lawmakers calling for sanctions in case of intervention in elections.
Earlier in March, Sergei Skripal was poisoned by the Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury, and his daughter Yulia suffered from the attack. After the incident, accusations were made against the Russian authorities, who were supposed to be the only ones who could have this type of substance.
“The United States found on August 6 that the Russian government has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its compatriots”, said the State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert. “Under the US Chemical Weapons Act, this conclusion leads to the imposition of economic sanctions, which are expected to take effect at the end of the month (around August 22)”, added she without specifying what the restrictions would be.
The sanctions envisaged concern the export of certain technological products, such as electronic devices and equipment of a delicate nature, which are relevant to national security. There will be an exception for activities related to space flights, space cooperation and areas such as the safety of passenger flights, which will be assessed separately, said the spokesman who wished to be anonymous.
The sanctions may affected trade for hundreds of millions of dollars. From Russia depends how drastic the consequences will be.
After these sanctions enter into force, Russia will have 90 days to give credible guarantees that will no longer use chemical weapons and allow inspections by the UN and other international monitoring organizations. If this is not the case, a second series of stricter sanctions will be imposed, and Russian air companies may not be admitted to US airports and even discontinue diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The British authorities, for their part, welcomed the news of the sanctions.
“The robust international response to the use of chemical weapons on the streets of Salisbury sends an unambiguous message to Russia that its provocative and reckless behavior will not remain unanswered”, said London’s representative.