WASHINGTON, August 27. /TASS/. The United States’ sanctions on Russia over Moscow’s alleged involvement in poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia come into effect on Monday.
The US State Department claimed that by using lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals Russia had violated the US Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.
The US State Department did not specify either evidence or intelligence data that led Washington to an unambiguous conclusion of Russia’s involvement in the poisoning. However, the US authorities said 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.
Earlier it was expected that the sanctions would be imposed on August 22. The State Department spokesperson told TASS that on August 8, the US State Department had informed the US Congress on its intentions to impose sanctions in compliance with the law.
"The notification period prescribed by the CBW Act elapsed on August 22. We have submitted the Federal Register Notice enacting the sanctions and expect that it will be published on August 27," he said.
US sanctions and exceptions
The new restrictions include a total ban on the supply of electronic devices and other dual-use products to Russia. 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.
Earlier this month, a senior State Department official said that the US authorities intend to make exceptions to the new sanctions on Russia imposed over the Skripal incident.
According to him, "there are a number of carve-outs that we are making under the sanctions that are required by the act. Not everything that is mandatory under the act we will be proceeding with at this time."
"We will have a waiver for the provision of foreign assistance to Russia and to the Russian people," the official noted.
"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. Those will be free to continue on a case-by-case licensing basis," the State Department official went on to say. "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, so we are allowing ourselves the ability to continue on a case-by-case basis with those items. And there are a couple of more things like purely commercial end users for civilian end uses will be on a case-by-case basis," he added.
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.