Second Round Of US Skripal-related sanctions take effect

Second Round Of US Skripal-related sanctions take effect
  • Clock-gray 05:34
  • calendar-gray 26 August 2019

The second round of US sanctions related to the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal are scheduled to go into effect on Monday, APA reports citing Sputnik.

On August 2, US President Donald Trump signed off on the second round of sanctions against Russia over the alleged poisoning of Skripal in the United Kingdom in 2018under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act (CBW). The United States claims that Russia is not in compliance with the legislation, but Russia denies the claim.

According to a State Department notice scheduled to be published in the US Federal Register today, the latest round of sanctions prohibit American banks from making any loan or providing any credit to the government of Russia unless for the purpose of purchasing food or other agricultural goods.

The United States will also "oppose" the extension of any loan of financial or technical assistance to Russia through international financial institutions, the notice added.

The document also said the new sanctions will place certain trade restrictions on Russia, but it is unclear what goods and services will be affected.

The first round of US sanctions, introduced under the 1991 CBW Act, went into effect on August 27, 2018.

Trump has wanted to improve US relations with Russia and continues to make it a goal during his presidency, however, he has felt pressured by Congress to take action against Russia.

Trump has also felt pressured to take action against Russia in light of the congressional investigations that sought to find obstruction between the Trump campaign and Russian governmentduring the 2016 US presidential elections.

An investigation led by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller found that there was no collusion.

Several weeks after the Skripal poisoning, Trump reluctantly agreed to expel 60 Russian diplomats only to have second thoughts, Washington Post reporter Greg Miller wrote in a book published last October.

According to the book, Trump expected France, Germany and other countries each to match the US expulsion total. The US president was surprised to find that Washington's total was the same as the cumulative response from Europe. Trump accused his aides of misleading him, worrying that Russian President Vladimir Putin would see him as the aggressor, the book said.

In March 2018, Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench near a shopping center in Salisbury, England. The UK government said the Skripals had been subject to poisoning with a military-grade nerve agent and accused Russia of staging the attack.

Russia has denied the accusations, saying the UK government has not provided any evidence of Moscow's alleged role in the poisoning. Russia has said it sent more than 70 diplomatic notes to the United Kingdom calling for a joint inquiry as required by international law, but London has not answered not cooperated in any way.

Faiq Mahmudov

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