Russia Considers Retaliation For 'Categorically Unacceptable' New U.S. Sanctions

Specialist officers in protective suits investigate the bench where Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found

MATT CARDY GETTY IMAGES Specialist officers in protective suits investigate the bench where Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found

While both Skripals survived the attack, the US sided with Britain in determining Russian Federation was responsible after investigators concluded the would-be assassins used a Soviet-era nerve toxin known as "Novichok".

In contrast, the USA move was warmly welcomed by Downing Street which has consistently blamed Moscow for the attack in March on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a military-grade Novichok nerve agent developed by the former Soviet Union.

Ms Zakharova said the United States was "knowingly presenting demands that are unacceptable to us" as conditions for the sanctions to be lifted.

The Russian rouble has slumped to its lowest level since November 2016, hours after the U.S. announced new sanctions because of the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter in the UK.

The Trump administration said Wednesday it would impose more sanctions against Russia as punishment for its use of a nerve agent in an attempt in March to assassinate British citizen and ex-Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

But Peskov said the sanctions undo the goodwill curried by presidents Trump and Putin at their Helsinki summit last month.

Russia's government slammed as "unacceptable" on Thursday new USA sanctions against Moscow. One of the victims, Dawn Sturgess, later died, leading police to launch a murder inquiry.

What was certain, Gudkov said, was that pro-Kremlin media outlets would use the new sanctions as fresh confirmation of a story line about a "Russophobic" West that many Russians buy.

The first, which targets US exports of sensitive national-security related goods, comes with deep exemptions and numerous items it covers have already been banned by previous restrictions.

A senior U.S. State Department official said the new sanctions targeted export licenses of sensitive U.S. technologies and industrial equipment, such as electronics, calibration equipment, and gas-turbine engines.

With those possible exemptions in mind, the State Department estimated the value of the new sanctions could "reach potentially hundreds of millions of dollars".

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

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously denied allegations that Russia was behind the poisonings, saying in March that it was "unthinkable that we would do such a thing".

The Kremlin acknowledged on Thursday Putin's office had received the letter, but Peskov suggested the Russian leader was yet to parse it.

But initial triumphalism swiftly turned sour as anger over what some USA lawmakers saw as an over deferential performance by Trump and his failure to confront Putin over Moscow's alleged meddling in US politics galvanized a new sanctions push.

Those products include machinery and electrical parts - the trade of which could be worth "potentially hundreds of millions of dollars", according to a senior U.S. state department official. Investigators believe she found the substance in a discarded bottle and thought it was perfume. Russia's embassy in the US called the measures draconian.

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