The US has announced new sanctions against Russia over the poisoning of former intelligence agent Sergei Skripal. US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said the US government would oppose the extension of any loans to Russia by international financial institutions. Their financial and technical support of Russia should also be prevented as far as possible. Explicitly, these are the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. It also restricts Russia's access to US bank business and hampers exports of certain goods and technology to Russia.
The US Congress still has to confirm the sanctions. In 15 days, they should come into force and are scheduled for at least twelve months. Already last year, the US had imposed sanctions on the poison attack on Skripal. However, these were relatively small and also related to the export of security-related goods, but with many exceptions. The basis for the sanctions is the US Biological and Chemical Control Act, which provides for the imposition of sanctions against countries using such weapons.
Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, was poisoned in March 2018 along with his daughter. As active ingredient the nerve poison Nowitschok was determined, which was developed still in the Soviet Union. Only barely escaped the poisoned death. A few months later, an uninvolved British couple got infected with the poison and a woman died. Britain and the US accused Russia of having carried out the poison attack. The Kremlin administration pointed to the fact that the poison was also produced in other countries in the 90s. A few months later, President Vladimir Putin called Skripal a traitor and said that the two GRU officers who had allegedly committed the attack were civilians.
Russian Foreign Ministry considers sanctions "nothing out of the ordinary"
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that it was "sad" that "what was once called the Russian-US partnership" was being sacrificed by the US to resolve internal political conflicts. The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out on its website that Russia would have destroyed all biological and chemical weapons long before the Skripal attack. The new sanctions are "nothing out of the ordinary" but just a continuation of US attempts to force Russia to "renounce its own interests in favor of US ambitions for world domination." It is the 72nd time since 2011 that sanctions are imposed on Russia. Countermeasures did not announce Russia so far.
In the past year, the US government has repeatedly imposed punitive measures against Russia, not only in the Skripal case, but also because of Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict, alleged interference by Russia in the 2016 US presidential campaign and in response to violations of UN sanctions against North Korea. The EU also had sanctions on the alleged poisoning of Skripal and his daughter by Russian secret agents. The head of the Russian security service GRU and his deputy were charged with entry and asset blocks, as well as the two suspected GRU agents who perpetrated the attack and are banned by the international police organization Interpol for search. In addition, the United States referred 60 Russian diplomats of the country, the Federal Republic had four diplomats.