Pompeo discusses new sanctions in call with Russian counterpart

Pompeo discusses new sanctions in call with Russian counterpart

The government said Thursday it has begun working on ways to answer the measures. The U.S. penalized several Russian oligarchs, officials, businesses and agencies and froze assets from those entities that were under U.S. jurisdiction.

A senior State Department official said Wednesday that there could be exceptions. The Reuters news agency said they would restrict sensitive national security controlled goods to Russian Federation.

The fact of this determination triggered the sanctions, but if now the presidential administration determines that Russian Federation had failed to meet certain chemical and biological weapons-related conditions, another set of even larger sanctions will be enacted.

On June 30, a British couple were poisoned by Novichok in a nearby town - 44-year-old mother-of-three Dawn Sturgess subsequently died.

They were critically ill, but survived after spending weeks in the hospital.

"The theater of the absurd continues", said Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia's first deputy representative to the United Nations.

Britain had already accused Russian Federation of being behind the attack, which the Kremlin vehemently denies.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov complained about the new sanctions in a phone call on Friday to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The president drew widespread criticism for seemingly siding with Putin and casting doubt on the USA intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

The US announcement fuelled already worsening investor sentiment about the possible effect of more US sanctions on Russian assets and the rouble slid by over 1 per cent on Thursday against the dollar, a day after falling towards its lowest level in almost two years.

Trump has repeatedly expressed an interest in improving relations with Moscow in order to collaborate on areas of mutual concern, like Syria. But he has faced criticism from US lawmakers for not taking a stronger position against reported Russian interference in the 2016 USA elections.

Medvedev's tough tone was in stark contrast with past statements by President Vladimir Putin and his lieutenants, who have taken a nonchalant posture while talking about USA and other Western sanctions, seeking to downplay their impact on the Russian economy. Washington ordered 60 diplomats to leave and closed the Russian consulate-general in Seattle. Russia denies any involvement in the Skripal attack, but the use of Novichok on a former mole for the British sent a loud and unnuanced message of its own to other Russians who work with foreign intelligence.

On Wednesday US state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said it had been determined that Russian Federation "has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of worldwide law, or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals".

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev holds a meeting on the consruction of a transshipment terminal for liquefied natural gas in Kamchatka region, in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia August 10, 2018.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said the sanctions send "an unequivocal message to Russian Federation that its provocative, reckless behaviour will not go unchallenged". George Grow was the editor.

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