Russian Federation hits back after USA sanctions over Skripals

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The United States will impose sanctions on Russian Federation for its alleged use of a nerve gas agent in an attempt to poison former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in England.

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found unconscious on a bench in the city of Salisbury, England, on 4 March. It's a benefit, they argue, of policies put in place amid a raft of Western sanctions imposed over Russian actions in Ukraine and alleged interference in the US 2016 presidential elections.

According to the US Department of State, the US authorities are going to decide on unveiling the second package of sanctions against Moscow in 90 days' time depending on whether it fulfills a number of conditions.

The US administration is obliged to act, under legislation, if chemical or biological weapons have been used.

Russian authorities played down the importance of new USA sanctions, saying they have tools to maintain financial stability, after a new round of US penalties sent the rouble plunging to a two-year low.

The higher price of oil, however, has given Russia's government a large financial cushion to maintain public services and to assist business magnates targeted by US sanctions.

"We believe linking new [U.S.] restrictive measures, which we continue to consider illegitimate, to the Salisbury case is totally unacceptable", Peskov said, according to the Russian news agency TASS, referring to the suspected poisoning of a former spy and his daughter in the United Kingdom.

Russian officials question why Russia would want to attack an ageing turncoat who was pardoned and swapped in a Kremlin-approved 2010 spy swap.

No. In June the United States imposed sanctions on five Russian companies and three Russian individuals in response to alleged Russian cyber-attacks on the US.

Acting in tandem with governments in Europe, the United States expelled 60 Russian diplomats it said were spies several weeks later.

The current situation in Washington appears to represent a "sanctions war", Clark said, as there are clearly "competing elements of the USA state".

Irina Yarovaya, deputy speaker of the State Duma, is the latest Russian official to condemn the sanctions that have sent the rouble tumbling and sparked fears of economic catastrophe.

Countries can also introduce sanctions in retaliation to other countries' sanctions. The Post concluded it is likely an attempt to stave off far more punitive sanctions legislation now being considered in Congress.

Instead, Russia is likely to respond with its own sanctions.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told reporters he wanted it to be a "sanctions bill from hell".

The ruble is down 14.25% versus the dollar this year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with spokesman Dmitry Peskov, center, and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi on May 18. Just this week, Republican Sen. No one should doubt that Putin will not keep to this approach. Russia's embassy in the US called the measures draconian. Yet the American leader was roundly criticized by members of both parties in Congress for what many perceived as an overly conciliatory performance at a summit meeting with Vladimir Putin leader in Helsinki last month.

He said Moscow felt it could now "expect anything at all from Washington" but nevertheless retained "hopes of building constructive relations".

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