Chemical Attack in UK Leads to US Sanctions on Russia

The State Department is retaliating for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2018 4:15 PM CDT
British police scoure sections of Salisbury and Amesbury in southwest England, searching for a container feared to be contaminated with traces of Novichok.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(Newser) – The US is poised to impose sanctions on Russia in retaliation for a March nerve agent attack on a former Russian double agent and his daughter. Per BBC, US investigators have determined the country is behind the March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal, who were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury, England. The British government revealed earlier that the nerve agent Novichok, a type developed in Cold War-era Russia, was used in the attack that failed to kill the Skripals. They pulled through after weeks in a hospital. "The government of the Russian Federation has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law," US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. Nauert said the sanctions will go into effect later this month.

Russia has forcefully denied they were behind the poisonings. However, the US was among some 20 countries who took a unified stance with the UK against the Kremlin by expelling Russian diplomats. Per the AP, the US alone kicked out 60 officials the Trump administration referred to as spies for the Russian government. The US also shut down Russia's consulate in Seattle. In the months since, two other cases of nerve agent poisoning made headlines not far from where the Skripals were discovered near death. In late June, Dawn Sturgess and her partner, Charles Rowley, fell ill 10 miles from Salisbury in the town of Amesbury after police believe the couple accidentally came into contact with a bottle containing Novichok. While Rowley survived, Sturgess was not as lucky.

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