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US orders new sanctions against Russia over chemical attack in Britain

Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- The United States said Wednesday it has concluded that Russia used chemical or biological weapons, in violation of international law, during an attack on a former Soviet spy and his daughter in England earlier this year.

In response, the administration ordered new sanctions on Moscow.

"Following the use of a 'Novichok' nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate U.K. citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal," the United States has determined that the Russian government "used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals," the State Department said in a statement.

Washington had already expelled about 60 Russian diplomats in retaliation for the Skripal attack.

The sanctions, which will likely target some Russian exports, will go into effect in about two weeks while Congress is notified, the statement said.

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The use of chemical or biological weapons violates the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.

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