United States to impose sanctions on Russian Federation over nerve attack in UK

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A State Department official said the sanctions could have a significant impact on trade with Russian Federation.

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, in Salisbury in March.

The surprise measures were announced by the State Department, which said that the Kremlin "has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of worldwide law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals".

The official said a second batch of "more draconian" sanctions would be imposed after 90 days unless Russian Federation gives "reliable assurances" that it will no longer use chemical weapons and allow on-site inspections by the United Nations or other worldwide observer groups.

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The U.S. announced new sanctions on Russia Wednesday, saying it's made a final determination that Vladimir Putin's government was responsible for the March 4 nerve-agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the United Kingdom.

Following a 15-day congressional notification period, the sanctions will take effect on or around August 22, according to a statement from the State Department.

They were seriously ill but later made a full recovery after spending several weeks in hospital.

They were found in a serious condition on a bench in The Maltings shopping centre, and the discovery of the substance sparked a city-wide investigation with police having to cordon off large areas, including where they had eaten dinner that evening.

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President Trump remains at his Bedminster golf club and had no public events on Wednesday.

Two more people - Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley - were subsequently treated for exposure to novichok after Ms Sturgess reportedly picked up a discarded perfume bottle thought to have contained the agent.

In late March, Trump ordered 60 more Russian diplomats expelled from the United States as part of a global response to the attack - a response that included similar expulsions of diplomats from other nations checking Russia.

Rowley and Sturgess were hospitalised after being exposed to the deadly nerve agent June 30.

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