Donald Trump to slap sanctions on Russian Federation for Skripal poisoning

Months after the attack a couple in a nearby town were also poisoned by the deadly toxin

JACK TAYLOR GETTY IMAGES Months after the attack a couple in a nearby town were also poisoned by the deadly toxin

Vladimir Putin's government violated an worldwide act banning the use of chemical and biological weapons with the assassination attempt, the State Department said.

Sergei Skripal, a former colonel in Russia's GRU military intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, were found slumped unconscious on a bench in Salisbury in March after a liquid form of the Novichok type of nerve agent was applied to his home's front door.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any role in the attack, with Putin dismissing allegations of a Kremlin assassination plot as "nonsense".

Sanctions waivers are in place for certain key sectors, including space flight activities and commercial aviation safety, the official said.

The move was announced today by the USA state department. The statement anticipated the sanctions would go into effect around August 22 in line with the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.

Also in March, Washington ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats, and the closure of Russia's consulate general in Seattle.

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The attack led, three months later, to the subsequent death of Dawn Sturgess, and the contamination of her partner, Charlie Rowley.

Russia's embassy in London said they had not received any extradition requests over allegations any of its citizens were involved in the novichok poisonings. But unless Russia agrees within 90 days to stop all use of chemical weapons and permit inspections to confirm their elimination, additionally mandated measures could cut off nearly all trade between the two countries, prohibit landing rights for Russian airlines, and lead to a suspension of diplomatic relations.

President Trump met with Putin at a summit in July.

But the Russian finance ministry, quoted by Ria-Novosti news agency, sought to allay fears, saying the measures might not take effect, though it acknowledged that markets were "once again under pressure".

The news came as Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul said on Wednesday he had delivered a letter from President Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin proposing cooperation.

The White House did not immediately send out a statement on the sanctions.

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