U.S. sanctions Russia over nerve agent poisoning

U.S. sanctions Russia over nerve agent poisoning

17:24 - The Trump administration will hit Russia with new sanctions over the attempted assassination in Britain of a former Kremlin spy.

The State Department made the announcement Wednesday after concluding on Aug. 6 that Russia used a banned nerve agent, Novichok, to try and kill the ex-spy, Sergei Skripal, according to spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

Nauert said a U.S. investigation found Moscow had "used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals."

Skripal, a retired Russian military intelligence officer, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, were found unconscious in the English city of Salisbury on March 4. United Kingdom authorities said the two had been poisoned with a nerve agent that they believed was produced in Russia.

Yulia Skripal was released from the hospital in April after being treated for the nerve agent attack. Her father was discharged in May.

The sanctions are expected to take effect on or around Aug. 22.

A State Department official said the Kremlin was notified on Wednesday afternoon about the sanctions, and U.S. allies have also been notified as well.

The conclusion of the U.S. investigation comes several months after U.K. authorities reached a similar conclusion, accusing the Kremlin in April of breaking an international ban on chemical weapons.

The White House has already expelled 60 Russian diplomats from the U.S. over the poisoning.

Wednesday's announcement come several weeks after President Donald Trump held a one-on-one summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Trump was criticized for now pressing Putin aggressive on several issues, such as election meddling, during a press conference after the meeting.

In the weeks since, the Trump administration has organized a briefing of top national security officials to call out Russia's ongoing attempts to spread disinformation in America and the State Department

Trump himself, however, has remained relatively silent regarding Russia's online trolling and had not commented on Twitter as of late Wednesday afternoon about the latest sanctions targeting Russia.

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