US strongly condemns Russia's poisoning of former spy - White House

Salisbury Spy Poisoning: US Says Russia Was Behind Nerve Agent Attack In UK, And Will Impose Sanctions

In addition, on 8 August, the state Department announced plans to impose sanctions because of the poisoning of the former GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia in Salisbury.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Wednesday it had been determined that Russian Federation "has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of worldwide law, or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals".

But the punitive measures triggered a furious reaction from Moscow.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said this afternoon that Moscow was starting to work on measures following Washington's decision to impose sanctions, which she claimed were using the Salisbury attacks in March as a pretext.

The currency traded around 66 per US dollar on Wednesday and Thursday, marking the lowest level since 2016.

Russian banks were also affected, with shares in state-run Sberbank sliding 4.7%.

The U.S. State Department said Wednesday that Congress had been notified and that the new sanctions would go into effect on August 22.

The sanctions against Vladimir Putin's Russian Federation target U.S. exports of sensitive goods relating to national security.

Existing sanctions already prohibit the export of most military and security-related items, but now the ban will be extended to goods, such as gas turbine engines, electronics and calibration equipment that were previously allowed on a case-by-case basis.

Cleaning crews discover dead fetus in plane at LGA
The flight, AA-1942, left the Queen City just before 9 p.m. and arrived at LaGuardia's Terminal B at 10:44 p.m. The cleaning crew immediately contacted their manager, who in turn contacted law enforcement, Franco said.

There could also be a second round of sanctions that would be "more draconian" than the first round, the officials said. These could go as far as a ban on Russian airlines using USA airports. Which means that Russia's response has to be more than symbolic.

Distrust between the two countries has spiked amid Russia's renewed aggressiveness on the world stage, starting with the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and Moscow's subsequent interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Washington expelled 60 diplomatic workers and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle.

In Moscow, the ruble shed as much as 5% against the dollar on Thursday and stocks plunged as much as 9%, led by state banks and national carrier PJSC Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, which risk losing access to USA markets if the sanctions escalate.

A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said the sanctions send "an unequivocal message to Russian Federation that its provocative, reckless behavior will not go unchallenged".

"Thank you United States of America for standing firm with us on this", Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted.

Skripal and his daughter were poisoned at their home in Salisbury, England, in March.

On June 30, a British couple were poisoned by Novichok in a nearby town - 44-year-old mother-of-three Dawn Sturgess subsequently died. Moscow has been blamed for the poisonings, but has denied any involvement.

Gilbert Doctorow, a Brussels-based Russian affairs analyst, says that the USA, particularly with the second proposed round, is threatening to "go for the jugular" in a way it has not during any of the previous acts of sanction dating back to the Crimea secession in 2014.

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