US says Russian Federation sanctions to target security-related goods

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Russia news The US has hit out at Russia over the Salisbury attack

State Department officials said there would be "carve-outs" in the sanctions for "the provision of foreign assistance to Russia and to the Russian people", as well as for joint spaceflight activities and commercial aviation. But U.S. officials had not yet confirmed the use of banned nerve agents in the attack.

"And this war will have to be responded - by economic, political and, if necessary, other means".

"The Russian side will start examining response measures to the new unfriendly move of Washington", Zakharova said.

President Vladimir Putin's efforts to protect Russian Federation after past rounds of USA sanctions are leaving the economy more insulated as the threat of more penalties rattles markets this week.

However, until Wednesday, the Trump administration had not made the official determination that Russian Federation violated global law to trigger sanctions under the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act.

The new sanctions will take effect on or around 22 August.

Heightened concern spurred by the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury, England is prompting US national security officials to consider seriously the prospect of a similar attack, current and former officials said.

"Once again we deny in the strongest terms the accusations about the possible connection of the Russian state to what happened in Salisbury".

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

Another round of sanctions will be triggered under the law if Russian Federation fails to meet a series of criteria, including demonstrating that it is no longer using chemical or biological weapons in violation of worldwide law or against its own citizens.

The US State Department issued a formal determination that Russian Federation poisoned Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with Novichok in the Wiltshire town in March.

When asked about how the new sanctions jibe with President Trump's desire to improve relations with Russian Federation, which he made quite clear during last month's summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, a State Department official said they're perfectly aligned, as the entire Trump administration is "tough on Russian Federation".

Russian Federation would be subjected to new sanctions unless it agreed not to use chemical or biological weapons against its own citizens, the State Department said.

One tool it said it might use was limiting market volatility by adjusting how much foreign currency it buys. The statement also accused Russian Federation of violating worldwide law.

The Russian economy is still reeling from global sanctions imposed on Moscow in 2014 over its actions in Ukraine and a crash in oil prices the same year.

Pompeo and Lavrov discussed sanctions and Syria's civil war during the call, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

The United Kingdom blamed Russia for the attack, resulting in the expulsion of 150 Russian diplomats from the U.K., U.S. and other allies.

The State Department denied inconsistency in USA policy and maintained that sanctions were aimed at encouraging improved behaviour from Russian Federation.

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