U.S. Imposes More Sanctions on Russia for Chemical Agent Use
05 Aug 2019

The U.S. imposed a second round of sanctions on Russia for using a banned nerve agent in an attempt to kill a former Russian spy in the U.K. in 2018.

The measures will prohibit U.S. banks from participating in the issuance of Russian sovereign debt, the State Department and Treasury Department said in separate statements. The sanctions will take effect following publication of a Federal Register notice on or about Aug. 19, and will remain in place for at least 12 months.

“The United States is announcing a second round of sanctions on Russia for its use of a ‘Novichok’ nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia,” the State Department said.

On Saturday, Treasury released a directive that prohibits U.S. banks from participating in the primary market for non-ruble denominated bonds issued by the Russian sovereign, or from lending it non-ruble denominated funds. That directive takes effect Aug. 26.

The statements were the first official confirmation that sanctions for the Skripal poisoning was the purpose of an executive order signed by President Donald Trump on chemical and biological weapons violations that the White House issued without comment late Thursday night.

The move was a long time coming: the State Department had said in September that sanctions could be implemented in November but delays continued, worrying the Democratic chairman and top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Representatives Eliot Engel of New York and Michael McCaul of Texas wrote to Trump on July 25 that they were “deeply concerned sanctions have not been imposed on Russia as required by U.S. law.”

By Shamim Adam, Bloomberg, 3 August 2019

Read more at Bloomberg

Photo (cropped): Peter Curbishley [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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