These sanctions, established under a US law on the elimination of chemical and biological weapons, will remain in effect for at least 12 months. They follow the poisoning attempt of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in 2018 in the United Kingdom.

The United States on Saturday imposed a new round of sanctions on Russia for the attack on Novitchok's innervating chemical agent against former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in 2018 in the UK. In this context, Washington will oppose any assistance to Moscow "from the international financial institutions", restrict access of US banks to the Russian sovereign debt market and limit exports of goods and technology to Russia, US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

These measures, taken in the name of an American law of 1991 on the elimination of chemical and biological weapons, will come into effect "around August 19", after notification of the United States Congress, specified the American diplomacy. They will remain so for at least 12 months. The law provides that sanctions can only be lifted if Russia demonstrates that it will "no longer use chemical weapons in the future" under the control of international inspectors.

Diplomatic crisis

This is the second set of US sanctions in this case. In 2018, the former Russian double agent and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious in a shopping center in Salisbury (southern England) and hospitalized in a serious condition. London had accused Moscow of being behind this poisoning at Novitchok, a powerful Soviet-style innervating agent, in retaliation for its collaboration with the British intelligence services. The Kremlin had denied.

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This affair provoked a major diplomatic crisis, leading to the expulsion of more than 300 Russian and Western diplomats. Sergei Skripal, a former officer of the Russian Military Intelligence (GRU), was sentenced in 2006 for "high treason" before receiving an exchange of spies organized between Moscow, London and Washington. Sergei Skripal and his daughter had left the hospital in the following months. Their poisoning was a collateral victim, a woman who died after splashing on what she thought was a perfume, contained in a bottle picked up by her companion.