Sanctions could pitch Russia relations to new low

Adjust Comment Print

As a volatile day unfolded in Moscow, response from Washington was muted.

The U.S. State Department said Wednesday that Washington would impose new sanctions this month after determining this week that Moscow used a military grade nerve agent in March to poison an ex-Russian spy in England.

Medvedev said that while the USA says that the sanctions are meant to punish Russia's "bad" behavior, their real goal is to sideline a rival.

Russian Federation will start to work on retaliatory measures to respond to another unfriendly move by Washington. "So that is going to be a carve-out under this - under these new sanctions", the official added.

The sanctions - which will take effect on or around August 22 - will include the presumed denial of export licenses for Russian Federation to purchase many items with national security implications, according to a senior State Department official.

A second set of measures could be substantially broader and would be imposed if Moscow fails to meet a 90-day deadline to provide "reliable assurances" it will no longer use chemical weapons, allow on-site inspections by the United Nations or other worldwide observer groups, and respond to other USA demands.

According to the law, it could include downgrading diplomatic relations, suspending national flag carrier Aeroflot's ability to fly to the United States and cutting off almost all exports and imports.

The state department says "more draconian" sanctions will follow within 90 days if Russian Federation fails to give reliable assurances that it will no longer use chemical weapons and will allow on-site inspections by the United Nations.

The Russian ruble kept weakening against the US dollar for the second day on Thursday in wake of the new sanctions.

Manafort defense questions star witness Gates about 'secret life'
Gates testified that Manafort asked him to float Calk, who was on Trump's economic advisory council, for Secretary of the Army. In another heated exchange, Downing tried to press Gates into explicitly saying that he had embezzled money from Manafort.

One tool it said it might use was limiting market volatility by adjusting how much foreign currency it buys.

Despite the steep drop in the rouble, the central bank was not expected to intervene.

Gilbert Doctorow, a Brussels-based Russian affairs analyst, says that the United States, 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.

The spokesperson went on to say Russian American relations are at a record low point and the USA continues to deteriorate bilateral ties.

Russian Federation denies involvement in the attack and has accused Britain of failing to share its evidence.

Russian Federation is planning retaliatory measures against sanctions imposed by the USA over the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal, which caused the rouble to fall to its lowest level since November 2016 this morning.

In March, the Trump administration ordered 60 Russian diplomats - all of whom it said were spies - to leave the United States and closed down Russia's consulate in Seattle in response to the Skripal case. But if new sanctions proposed by Congress and the State Department are implemented in full, something that remains uncertain, some economists fear growth would be nearly cut to zero in future.

"Sanctions are the USA weapon of choice", Trenin wrote on Twitter.