USA justification for sanctions 'far-fetched' - Russian Federation

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     TARGETED Sergei and Yulia Skripal were exposed to Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok

FACEBOOK GETTY TARGETED Sergei and Yulia Skripal were exposed to Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok

Deripaska has also been charged in special counsel Robert Mueller 's investigation regarding Russia's involvement in the 2016 election.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow had not yet received any official United States request to open up sites once linked to chemical weapons for inspection.

"And to this war, we will have to react by economic, political, and, in case of necessity, other methods".

Members of the emergency services wearing protective clothing work near the bench where former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found poisoned in Salisbury, Britain, March 13, 2018.

Nauert said the sanctions would begin on August 22.

The Kremlin, meanwhile, repeated its previous denial of any involvement in the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in southern England this year, while playing down the importance of the sanctions.

In March, two weeks after the attack, Trump signed a statement, along with British, French and German leaders, blaming Russian Federation.

Almost two weeks after the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee asked why the administration was AWOL on Russia's use of a deadly nerve agent on British soil, and less than a week after a group of senators introduced a package of crushing sanctions on the Kremlin, the State Department announced that mandatory sanctions for chemical weapons use will go into effect.

Russian Federation assets tumbled following news of the sanctions, with the USA dollar strengthening to its highest level against the ruble since November 2016.

Russia's economy had demonstrated it was stable in the face of past sanctions, as well as fluctuations in the oil price, he said in a statement.

After pressure from Republican members of Congress, the state department has determined Moscow broke global law by using a military grade chemical weapon on the Skripals.

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt thanked the U.S. on Thursday in a tweet.

A senior Russian lawmaker denounced the sanctions as "lynch law".

Washington had become an unpredictable player on the global stage, Peskov added, saying "anything could be expected" from it and that it was important that Russia's financial system, which he described as stable, was prepared.

In a sign the Kremlin was not eager to escalate an already hard situation, however, Peskov said it was too early to talk about Russian countermeasures. He insisted that Russia's financial system is strong enough to withstand shocks from the new penalties.

In the event of non-compliance, the official added, a second round of "draconian" sanctions would be given a green light. The shares of Russian state-controlled banks, the national carrier Aeroflot and other companies also tanked. The Trump administration had 60 days, under law, to report their findings back to the committee, but by the June letter Congress had heard nothing.

The US made a similar determination in February when it found North Korea used a chemical weapon to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half brother at the airport in Kuala Lumpur in 2017. London and Washington have blamed Moscow, saying Skripal and his daughter were attacked with the Russian nerve agent Novichok.

Since Russia's reaction suggests it will not take such steps, the administration will have to choose from additional sanctions.

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