WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it would soon impose new sanctions on Russia to punish Moscow for violating American and international laws by attempting to assassinate a former Russian spy living in England using a nerve agent.
The sanctions arise from a March 4 incident when Sergei V. Skripal, a former Russian spy, and his daughter were nearly poisoned to death with a rare and toxic nerve agent. British authorities soon accused Russia of being behind the attempt, a charge Moscow has fiercely denied.
In the wake of the poisoning, more than two dozen Western countries expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats, including 60 from the United States.
Russia responded with a similar number of diplomatic expulsions and ordered the closure of the American Consulate in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city.
The new sanctions are part of a raft of anti-Russian efforts by the United States despite President Trump’s own efforts to forge warmer ties through direct talks with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
Mr. Trump met with Mr. Putin at a summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland, in July. At the time, Mr. Trump’s warm embrace of the Russian leader, as well as his apparent siding with Mr. Putin over assessments by American intelligence agencies that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election, opened the White House to a firestorm of criticism.
Source : Nytimes