Further US sanctions would be 'declaration of economic war': Medvedev

Further US sanctions would be 'declaration of economic war': Medvedev

Further US sanctions would be 'declaration of economic war': Medvedev

"While I don't want to comment on the talk about future sanctions, I can say that if we end up with something like a ban on banking activities or the use of certain currencies, we can clearly call this a declaration of economic war", Medvedev was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. Sergei Skripal is a former Russian military office who was convicted of spying for Britain.

Senior lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of the Russian parliament, accused the USA of behaving like a 'police state, threatening and torturing a suspect to get evidence'. "That's out of the question." he added. Furthermore, Moscow eliminated all stockpiles of its chemical weapons under global obligations, unlike the U.S., which has still to honor its commitment.

The first set of sanctions covered by that announcement, which US officials said target export licenses of sensitive USA technologies and industrial equipment, such as electronics, calibration equipment, and gas turbine engines, are expected to enter into force around August 22.

Although the U.S. joined European countries in publicly blaming Moscow within days of the attack, the Trump administration never issued a formal triggering of sanctions under its decades-old United States law on chemical weapons.

On June 30, a British couple were poisoned by Novichok in a nearby town - 44-year-old mother-of-three Dawn Sturgess subsequently died.

The Kremlin also denied all accusations that it was involved in the chemical poisoning attack.

Under the law, once the government determines that a country has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of worldwide law, it must impose sanctions.

The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it will impose new sanctions on Russia over the nerve-agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March.

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The UK blames Russia, but the Russian government strongly denies any involvement.

That could include the USA withdrawing support for global loans and US bank loans, blocking Russian airlines from landing in the USA, and suspending diplomatic relations.

Until now such exports had been previously allowed on a case-by-case basis, with a senior State Department official saying the move could cut off hundreds of millions of dollars worth of exports to Russian Federation.

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U.S. and European allies have publicly blamed the Kremlin for attempting to kill the two in the British town of Salisbury using a Novichok nerve agent, a claim Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied. Moscow, in turn, responded to the worldwide action by ordering its own expulsion of foreign diplomats.

British Prime Minister Theresa May also pressed Trump to address the poisonings when he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last month.

The White House said Trump provided "a letter of introduction" at Paul's request, and that the president "mentioned topics of interest that Senator Paul wanted to discuss with President Putin".

So far President Donald Trump has been silent on this latest move - which could well derail his attempts to develop a new, warmer relationship with Vladimir Putin.

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