The United States is developing a second, more severe package of sanctions against the Russian Federation for November in response to the poisoning incident in Salisbury, said the State Department’s representative, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Manisha Singh. “We plan to impose a very severe second round of sanctions under the [chemical and biological weapons] law.”
According to Singh, the package will include “banking sanctions and prohibition on procurement of defense articles and aid money.” She recalled that Russia “hasn’t allowed on-site inspections or provided the US with ‘verifiable reassurance’ that it won’t use banned chemical weapons again.”
Under the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act, penalties must be introduced against countries that use chemical weapons in violation of international law.
The US announced last new restrictions which are aimed at punishing Putin’s government for the March 4 nerve-agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK. That first round of sanctions took effect August 22. Russia has denied its involvement in the attack against the Skripals.
The initial round of sanctions limits exports to Russia of US goods and technology considered sensitive on national security grounds, including electronics, lasers and some specialized oil and gas production technologies. These sanctions can block hundreds of millions of dollars in exports. Waivers will be allowed for space flight activities and US foreign assistance, according to the State Department.
Singh said Russia was a serious threat to its European allies and other partners because it carries out attacks with chemical weapons and uses energy resources as a weapon. “We are actively cooperating with transatlantic allies,”
The US administration made it clear that the sanctions imposed because of the situation in Eastern Ukraine would not be eased until Russia fulfilled its obligations under the Minsk agreements. Sanctions regarding the Crimea will remain in force until Russia return the peninsular to Ukraine. “US sanctions imposed by the Trump administration against Russia have cost the Kremlin an estimate of tens of billions of dollars,” Singh said.
She recalled that the USA also took measures against Putin’s close associates and heads of the largest State banks and energy companies.
“Imposing sanctions against these Russian citizens and entities, we made it clear that those who continue to deal with them do so at their own risk,” Singh stressed. “It led to the fact that companies all over the world started to distance themselves from the perpetrators on the sanctions list, increasing the unprecedented level of financial pressure on key sectors of Russian economy and those who support the destructive actions of the Kremlin.”
“Putin’s regime suffers loses and these loses will grow steadily until they stop the aggression,” Singh concluded.