Russia, Novichock, Salisbury, chemical weapons, U.S. sanctions | Homeland Security Newswire

The Russia connectionU.S. imposing new sanctions on Russia for spy poisoning in U.K.

Published 9 August 2018

The State Department says it will be implementing new sanctions on Russia as punishment for the March 2018 poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on British soil. The new sanctions, which will go into effect on 22 August, target export licenses of sensitive U.S. technologies and industrial equipment, such as electronics, calibration equipment, and gas turbine engines. Russia will also be given 90 days to comply with other demands, including allowing international inspectors into the country to ensure that no chemical or biological weapons exist there. If Moscow does not comply with the demands, a second round of sanctions could further downgrade diplomatic relations with Russia, or even restrict flights by Russian air carrier Aeroflot.

The State Department says it will be implementing new sanctions on Russia as punishment for the March 2018 poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on British soil. The two survived the attack, but another woman who came in contact with the nerve agent months later, Dawn Sturgess, has died. Her boyfriend, Charlie Rowley, was released from the hospital late last month. 

The new sanctions, which will go into effect on 22 August, target export licenses of sensitive U.S. technologies and industrial equipment, such as electronics, calibration equipment, and gas turbine engines. A U.S. official said requests for licenses to export such goods to Russia would now be “presumptively denied.”

The officials said that could cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in future exports to Russia.

Russia will also be given 90 days to comply with other demands, including allowing international inspectors into the country to ensure that no chemical or biological weapons exist there.

If Moscow does not comply with the demands, a second round of sanctions could further downgrade diplomatic relations with Russia, or even restrict flights by Russian air carrier Aeroflot.

Analysts, noting that Russia is not likely to comply with U.S. demands to allow international inspectors to examine Russia’s chemical weapons production facilities and storage sites, said global investors are worried not only about a possible U.S. ban on Russia’s sovereign debt – which is part of the round of sanctions which will go into effect in 90 days if Russia refuses international inspection of its chemical weapons facilities — but a provision in the congressional sanctions bill which would clamp down on Russian banks, leading to the stifling of Russia’s economy (see “Bipartisan bill introduces ‘crushing’ measures against ‘Kremlin aggression’,” HSNW, 2 August 2018).