Russia says it would treat new sanctions as ‘illegal’

Russia says it would treat new sanctions as ‘illegal’
© Getty Images

Russia will consider criminal any sanctions imposed by the U.S. over the chemical weapon poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal, the Kremlin announced Wednesday. 

“We consider restrictions imposed by the United States against Russia illegal,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Reuters.


The State Department and House Foreign Affairs Committee announced Tuesday a new round of sanctions would be slapped on Moscow after it failed to comply with a series of requirements over the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Britain. 

The new round of sanctions will be automatically triggered under a 1991 law on the elimination of chemical and biological weapons.

Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceMystery surrounds elusive sanctions on Russia Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp House panel advances bill to protect elections from foreign interference MORE (R-Calif.) said the administration has not clarified what the sanctions would entail or a timeline on when they would be imposed, which he criticized as “unacceptable.”

“No one should be surprised that Vladimir Putin refuses to swear off future use of weapons-grade nerve agents. It is unacceptable that the administration lacks a plan — or even a timeline — for action on the second round of mandatory sanctions required by U.S. law,” Royce, who is retiring at the end of this Congress, said in a statement Tuesday.

The Trump administration in August announced the first round of sanctions on Russia over the use of a military-grade nerve agent in an unsuccessful assassination plot against Skripal in Salisbury, Great Britain, last March, the harshest of which blocked exports of sensitive national security goods to Russia. 

A second round was triggered after the administration did not certify that Russia followed up to meet a more stringent set of conditions, including showing it is no longer using biological or chemical weapons in violation of international law and allowing United Nations inspections of its facilities to prove it. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE and Russian President Vladimir Putin will both be at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina later this month, but it is unclear if they will meet in person.