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Kremlin to weigh new US sanctions, hammer out further tit-for-tat measures

The United States’ sanctions on Russia over Moscow’s alleged involvement in the Skripal poisoning case came into effect on August 27
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

KEMEROVO, August 27. /TASS/. The Kremlin will assess new US sanctions to develop retaliatory measures aimed at protecting Russia’s interests, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked to comment on the new US restrictions against Russia, which had come into effect on Monday.

"At the moment, we need to understand what form the new restrictions will take and what actions they will require from Russia," he said.

According to the Kremlin spokesman, Russian President Vladimir Putin "has on numerous occasions said that he will do what it takes to protect our country’s interests in the wake of such unfriendly steps."

New US sanctions

The United States’ sanctions on Russia over Moscow’s alleged involvement in the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the British city of Salisbury came into effect on Monday. The US Department of State argues that Russia is in breach of the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act.

The new restrictions include a total ban on the supply of electronic devices and other dual-use products to Russia.

Earlier this month, a senior State Department official said, however, that the US authorities intend to make exceptions to the new sanctions on Russia. According to the official, "we will have a waiver for the provision of foreign assistance to Russia and to the Russian people." "We are also waiving sanctions with respect to space flight activities, because of course there are space flight actions in which we are engaged with the Russian Federation upon which we depend in some regards… And we are also having a carve-out for safety of commercial passenger aviation because some of these national security sensitive goods in question are ones that perhaps might be important for safety of flight issues," the official added.

Meanwhile, more tough measures may be taken in November. The US authorities said however that Russia may escape the harsher sanctions if it provides credible guarantees not to use chemical and biological weapons and allows the United Nations and other international organizations to carry out inspections on the country’s soil.

Skripal saga

According to London, former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia, 33, suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury on March 4. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russia of being involved in the incident. Moscow rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia ever had any program aimed at developing such a substance.