WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on U.S. sanctions against Russia over nerve agent poisoning in Britain (all times local):
The Kremlin has denounced new U.S. sanctions against Russia over the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy as a breach of international law.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Thursday that “the restrictions are absolutely unlawful and don’t conform to international law.”
The State Department said Wednesday the U.S. made the determination that Russia had used the Novichok nerve agent to poison former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, and that sanctions would follow later this month.
Peskov reaffirmed Moscow’s strong denial of involvement in the poisoning, saying that “there can’t be any talk about Russia having any relation to the use of chemical weapons.”
He added that Britain has failed to present any evidence to back the claim and stonewalled Russia’s proposal for a joint probe.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has welcomed the U.S. decision to impose sanctions on Russia over the nerve agent attack on a former spy earlier this year in the English city of Salisbury.
May’s Downing Street office issued a statement saying the move sends “an unequivocal message to Russia that its provocative, reckless behavior will not go unchallenged.”
The U.S. State Department on Wednesday said it would impose the sanctions because it has determined that Russia used a Novichok nerve agent to attack Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. The Russian embassy in the U.S. called the accusations “far-fetched.”
Britain blamed Russia for the March attack soon after in occurred, prompting Western nations, including the United States, to expel scores of Russian diplomats. Russia retaliated with similar expulsions.
A senior Russian lawmaker has denounced new U.S. sanctions against Russia over the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Britain as “lynch law.”
Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of the Russian parliament, said Thursday that the U.S. has behaved like a “police state, threatening and torturing a suspect to get evidence.”
The State Department said Wednesday the U.S. made the determination this week that Russia had used the Novichok nerve agent to poison former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, and that sanctions would follow later this month. Russia has vehemently denied any involvement in the poisoning.
Kosachev argued that the new sanctions amount to “inflicting a punishment in the absence of a crime in the tradition of lynch law.”
The Russian Embassy in the U.S. is criticizing the United States as it moves to impose new sanctions against Russia over a chemical attack against two people in Britain earlier this year.
The U.S. said on Wednesday that it had determined that Russia used a nerve agent to poison a former spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, in the English city of Salisbury in March.
Britain had already accused Russia of being behind the attack, which the Kremlin vehemently denies.
In response to the U.S. announcement, the Russian Embassy in the U.S. issued a statement referring to “far-fetched accusations” and saying Russian officials had yet to hear any facts or evidence and that the U.S. had refused to answer questions.
The U.S. has determined that Russia used a nerve agent to poison two people in Britain and, in retaliation, is imposing new sanctions.
The State Department said Wednesday the determination of illegal use of a chemical weapon came in the case of a former spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia. Both were poisoned earlier this year with the military-grade nerve agent Novichok.
The Kremlin has denied being behind the attack.
The sanctions are expected to begin later this month. A senior State Department official says sanctions will include the presumed denial of export licenses for Russia to purchase many items with national security implications.
President Donald Trump often points to his efforts to improve relations with Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin.
This story has been corrected to show that Sergei Skripal didn’t die in the attack.