YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, August 4. /TASS/. A second round of US sanctions imposed on Russia over the Skripal case shows the trumped-up nature of the investigation, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday in a televised interview on Rossiya’1 channel.
"That is more monumental proof and surely the most powerful piece of evidence that the story about Skripals was invented, that it is a provocation," she said. "At least, that part is trumped-up which was presented by the UK, by London, by the Theresa May government as an official version. That is a story that has totally discredited itself," Zakharova said commenting on the new, second round of US sanctions slapped on Moscow over the Skripal case.
Earlier, the high-ranking diplomat said that the second round of US sanctions against Moscow was an open provocation aimed at a propagandistic effect. She pointed out that Russia would continue its sustainable development, would boost the economy and bolster defense capabilities, and would step up its influence on the global arena.
According to London, former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury on March 4. The toxic chemical was sprayed on their door handle. 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 a program aimed at developing such a substance had existed neither in the Soviet Union nor in Russia. Britain’s military chemical laboratory at Porton Down failed to pinpoint the origin of the substance that poisoned the Skripals.
On August 1, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order, which stipulates the procedure of sanctioning the country found to have breached the US Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991. The act was used as a legal justification for slapping the first round of sanctions on Russia over the Skripal case at the end of August in 2018. The second round of sanctions goes into force on August 19 and will be in effect for a year, the US Department of State said. The new sanctions will include a prohibition on US banks from lending non-ruble denominated funds to the Russian government.