In the latest salvo meant to convince Mueller that Trump is not a pawn of the Kremlin, a State Dept official said on Thursday that the US plans a second round of “very severe” sanctions on Russia over use of nerve agent. The stated reason: Russia has not allowed on-site chemical weapons inspections, nor has it provided reassurance that it won’t use nerve agents against its own people, says Manisha Singh, Asst. Sec. for bureau of economic and business affairs
“We are looking at this November deadline” under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991, Singh said, adding that “we plan to impose a very severe second round of sanctions.”
The sanctions will kick in some time in November, presumably just after the November midterms, if Moscow does not take steps in the wake of the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom, Assistant Secretary of State Manisha Singh said on Thursday.
“We have indicated to them that they can evade, they can make themselves not subject to these sanctions if they allow the onsite inspections, if they give us a verifiable assurance that they will not use these nerve agents against their own people again,” Singh said. “They have not done so so far, so to that extent, we are looking at this November deadline as absolutely, we plan to impose a very severe second round of sanctions under the CBW [Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act].”
While US sanctions on Russia are hardly new, what is surprising this time is that the new round will include not only defense procurement and aid, but also target the country’s increasingly unstable banking sector. Quote Sing: “It’s going to include banking sanctions, prohibition on procurement of defense articles, aid money — it’s a laundry list of items that will penalize the Russian government.”
In kneejerk response, the ruble slumped, erasing most intraday gains resulting from the slumping dollar, although it has since recouped some of the losses.
In early August, the United States announced a new round of sanctions against Russia over its alleged involvement in the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in UK’s Salisbury in March.
The first wave of restrictions took effect on August 22, while the second package would depend on Moscow’s future policies.