New sanctions imposed on Russia by Washington in light of the revelations in Skripals’ poisoning case.

The United States has imposed a set of new sanctions on Russia, related to the poisoning of a former Russian agent and his daughter in Britain in the month of March this year. These sanctions are set to go into effect from Monday.

The details of these sanctions are mentioned in the notice posted by the Federal Register. It talks about implementing a set of new rules in future dealings with Russia: terminate assistance to Russia, deny them US credit or other forms of financial help, prohibit restricted goods and/ or technology from being exported to Russia, end arms sales as well as financing. Exceptions to these new rules are some forms of humanitarian crisis, Government space co-operation and space flight activities as well as commercial aviation safety. This step is sure to cause an additional strain on the already frail relations between the US and Russia. Russia has been previously accused of meddling in the 2016 US Presidential elections. In addition to this, the United States is also not pleased with Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its role in the Syrian civil war and east-Ukrainian crisis. The National Security Advisor to US President Donald Trump, John Bolton says that the sanctions will “remain in force until the required change in Russian behaviour”.

The incident in question, which was the foundation of the reason these sanctions are being introduced, was the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former colonel in Russia’s GRU military intelligence service and his daughter Yulia, 33. They were found unconscious on a bench in Salisburg, a Southern British city. A nerve agent suspected to be Novichok was allegedly smeared to the front door of their house. After spending multiple weeks in a hospital, they were declared as out of danger and fully recovered. This military-grade chemical weapon is said to have been developed in the Soviet Union, according to British officers. Hence, Russia is being blamed for this attack.  Moscow, however, has denied their involvement in both these events, the poisoning as well as the meddling in the US elections. The second batch of sanctions will be imposed in 90 days unless Russia allows the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ inspectors to confirm that the nation is no longer using any chemical weapons. The Foreign Ministry of Russia believes that these sanctions will only end up creating more tensions in the delicate ties between the two superpowers.

Governments across Europe are banding together against the Kremlin, a group which the United States and Britain have recently joined. Washington further announced that it would expel around 60 Russian diplomats.


*Neha Hardikar is a Research Intern at The Kootneeti.

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