Newly announced US sanctions-and the potential for a second round of actions in 90 days-roiled Russia’s currency and blue-chip stocks as the country braced for further economic pain amid uncertainties over the Trump administration’s commitment to enforcement.
Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found unconscious on a bench in the city of Salisbury, England, on 4 March.
The move was announced today by the U.S. state department.
The sanctions enacted so far this year, and the threat of more, have already inflicted pain on Russia’s middle class.
One of the hardest hit was Aeroflot, the Russian state airline, which could lose its ability to fly to the United States as a possible outcome of the new sanctions.
“Russia has repeatedly warned that a conversation from a position of strength in the language of ultimatums is useless and has no prospects”, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a Moscow news briefing on August 9.
The new sanctions will take effect on or around August 22, and relate to exports of electronic components and other technologies.
In a statement Thursday, a Russian official said the U.S.is making “unacceptable demands” of Moscow and urged the cancellation of the sanctions.
The Guardian this week reported the Government is set to submit an extradition request to Moscow for two Russians suspected of carrying out the Salisbury nerve agent attack. It is believed the poison was in a perfume bottle discarded by the attackers.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said the sanctions would send “an unequivocal message to Russian Federation that its provocative, reckless behaviour will not go unchallenged”. With these sanctions, the exports will be presumptively denied.
Why has it chose to impose sanctions now?
Some former officials told The Post, however, that the order seemed more like a “a cover-your-behind exercise” for the administration than meant to seriously deter foreign powers.
Sanctions are punishments a country (or group of countries) puts on another country.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told reporters he wanted it to be a “sanctions bill from hell”.
But investors didn’t wait for details, driving the Russian ruble to a two-year low against the dollar and sending shares in Russian companies plummeting on the stock market.
It remains unclear if lawmakers will succeed in passing the bill, with Congressional leaders having seemed unconvinced.
President Trump’s words (notably after his meeting with Putin last month) too often leave the impression that he isn’t serious about facing down Moscow’s malevolence.
Introduced by Republican and Democratic senators last week in draft form, Sen.
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.
The Kremlin has vehemently denied any involvement in the Salisbury and Amesbury incidents, and it did so again in lieu of new sanctions. “President Putin spoke about this at the press conference in Helsinki”. “At the same time, we are quite committed to working to maintain relations-we work on cooperative things where it is necessary to do so”.