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Skripal attack: US to sanction Russia over Novichok use
World | politics | 11:21, 09 August 2018 | 654

AKIPRESS.COM - The US has said it will impose fresh sanctions on Russia after determining it used nerve agent against a former Russian double agent living in the UK, BBC reports.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were left seriously ill after being poisoned with Novichok in Salisbury in March, though they have now recovered.

A UK investigation blamed Russia for the attack, but the Kremlin has strongly denied any involvement.

Russia has criticised the new sanctions as "draconian".

In a statement released on Wednesday, the US state department confirmed it was implementing measures against Russia over the incident.

Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said it had been determined that the country "has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law, or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals".

The British government has welcomed the move.

"The strong international response to the use of a chemical weapon on the streets of Salisbury sends an unequivocal message to Russia that its provocative, reckless behaviour will not go unchallenged," a UK foreign office statement said.

The Russian embassy to the US hit back on Thursday morning, criticising what it called "far-fetched accusations" from the US that Russia was behind the attack.

Russia had become "accustomed to not hearing any facts or evidence", it said, adding: "We continue to strongly stand for an open and transparent investigation of the crime committed in Salisbury."

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