President Donald Trump signed an executive order imposing sanctions on Russia for its use of chemical weapons in the 2018 attack on the Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Politico.eu reports with reference to two U.S. officials.
The Trump administration has not made any comment on the situation yet.
The 1991 law requires the president to impose a second round of sanctions if he cannot determine that the state in question has stopped using chemical weapons — and U.S. intelligence agencies were unable to make that determination with regard to Russia, which continues to deny responsibility for the attack on the Skripals, Politico’s author Eliana Johnson says in the article.
The first round of sanctions provided by the same law was imposed a year ago. The punitive measures included a ban on supplying goods and services to the Russian defense sector, as well as on issuing loans and rendering financial aid to Russia.
Interestingly, on July 31, Donald Trump offered US help in fighting wildfires in Siberia. Vladimir Putin took the offer as a sign that ‘it is possible that full-scale bilateral relations will be restored in the future’.
In March 2018, Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious at a shopping mall in the English town of Salisbury. The two were taken to hospital in critical condition. The were reportedly poisoned following exposure to an unknown substance. A bit later, British Prime Minister Theresa May said they had been poisoned with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia.
The incident caused a number of rows and triggered a diplomatic war between the West and the Kremlin.