U.S. to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation over Skripal poisoning

Months after the attack a couple in a nearby town were also poisoned by the deadly toxin

Heather Nauert, US State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement on Wednesday that it had been determined that Russian Federation "has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of global law".

A terse release from the State Department said that the United States had determined Russian responsibility for the attack in Salisbury, England - a British conclusion the administration had already accepted - under a 1991 U.S. law on biological and chemical weapons use that requires the president to impose sanctions.

She said sanctions would take effect on or around August 22, but did not specify the nature of the new punitive measures.

The United States said on Wednesday said it was imposing a new round of sanctions on the Kremlin as a result. The Skripals survived being targeted with a Russian-created novichok nerve agent.

They were found in a serious condition on a bench in The Maltings shopping centre, and the discovery of the substance sparked a city-wide investigation with police having to cordon off large areas, including where they had eaten dinner that evening.

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Acting in tandem with governments in Europe, the United States expelled 60 Russian diplomats it said were spies several weeks later.

There would, however, be exemptions for space flight activities, government space cooperation, and areas covering commercial passenger aviation safety, which would be reviewed on a case by case basis, the official added.

While Trump has cast doubt on USA intelligence agencies' finding that Russia interfered in the election and sought to help him win, his administration has repeatedly expanded US sanctions on Russia as top officials have reaffirmed the findings on Russian election interference.

Russia's embassy in London said they had not received any extradition requests over allegations any of its citizens were involved in the novichok poisonings.

On June 30, a British couple were poisoned by Novichok in a nearby town - 44-year-old mother-of-three Dawn Sturgess subsequently died. The US still wants to maintain relations with Moscow, despite the new sanctions.

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