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

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were attacked with novichok and found slumped on a bench in Salisbury in March

The latest USA action follows the treasury's imposition of sanctions in March against 19 Russian citizens and five entities for interfering in the 2016 U.S. election - the toughest steps against Moscow since Trump took office.

The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it will impose new sanctions on Russia over the nerve-agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March.

This comes one day after Washington announced it would impose more sanctions on Russia over the United Kingdom nerve agent attack that targeted a former Russian double agent and his daughter.

PA Wire/PA Images Yulia Skripal, who was contaminated with the nerve agent Novichok along with her father Sergei Skripal.

A State Department official said the sanctions could have a significant impact on trade with Russian Federation.

The second tranche, according to Reuters, can be selectively activated after 90 days if Moscow fails to provide "reliable assurances" it will no longer use chemical weapons and blocks on-site inspections, is potentially more serious.

While the central bank has not replied to Reuters request for comment about implications of the ruble's drop, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has tried to dismiss concerns about Russia's vulnerability to the US sanctions.

"Making a linking to these events is for us unacceptable and such restrictions like those passed by the American side earlier. are absolutely illegal and do not correspond to worldwide law", said Peskov.

The UK blames Russia, but the Russian government strongly denies any involvement.

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The Trump administration has also already responded to the nerve agent poisonings. In March 60 Russian diplomats were expelled and Russia's consulate in Seattle was closed.

The US has imposed sanctions on Russian Federation after concluding that Moscow was behind the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

The White House has not said whether the poisonings came up during his meeting with Putin.

The sanctions are expected to take effect later this month. The Post concluded it is likely an attempt to stave off far more punitive sanctions legislation now being considered in Congress.

Why has it made a decision to impose sanctions now? He added that the new sanctions amount to "inflicting a punishment in the absence of a crime in the tradition of lynch law".

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told reporters he wanted it to be a "sanctions bill from hell".

After taking a hit in what BCS brokerage described as panic reaction, the rouble managed to move away from two-year lows.

It remains unclear if lawmakers will succeed in passing the bill, with Congressional leaders having seemed unconvinced.

Trump caught flak from Democrats and Republicans alike for what many saw as his unsettling embrace of Putin last month at their Helsinki summit, when Trump appeared to disavow his own intelligence agencies' assessment on Moscow's election interference. No one should doubt that Putin will not keep to this approach. "At the same time, we are quite committed to working to maintain relations-we work on cooperative things where it is necessary to do so".

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