Russian foreign ministry: Poisoning accusations ‘groundless’

Russian foreign ministry: Poisoning accusations ‘groundless’
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The Russian foreign ministry on Monday called accusations of the Kremlin’s involvement in the use of a nerve agent against a former Russian spy “groundless.”

“We see the groundless allegations of Russia’s involvement in the Salisbury incident as another attempt to paint our country as a state which approaches its international obligations in an irresponsible fashion,” the ministry said in a statement, according to Reuters.

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The denial comes after the Trump administration last week announced new sanctions against Russia after determining the Kremlin “has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own national.”

In doing so, the U.S. joined European allies in blaming Russia for the poisoning earlier this year of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

The new sanctions are set to take effect on or around Aug. 22.

The U.S. and European nations earlier this year called the attack a “breach of international law” and a threat to international security, but before Wednesday the U.S. hadn’t officially issued a determination that Russia violated international law with its use of a nerve agent.