Russia To Decide Retaliatory Measures To US Sanctions: Ministry

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FILE - In this March 13, 2018, file photo, police officers guard a cordon around a police tent covering a supermarket auto park pay machine near the spot where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found critically ill following exposure to the Russian-developed nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury, England.

While the Kremlin's response has been robust - accusing the U.S.

The officials said another round of sanctions could be forthcoming unless Russian Federation meets "certain criteria", which include halting the use of all chemical and biological weapons and permitting on-site inspections of its facilities by worldwide observers.

However, the department says it will exempt aid to civil society and humanitarian groups and allow exports needed for continued U.S. -Russia cooperation in space. -Russian relations. A 1991 law, however, mandates sanctions once the president makes a determination that a country is responsible for a chemical or biological weapons attack.

British Prime Minister Theresa May welcomed the US decision.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (front) and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attend a session of the Council of Heads of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Sochi on 11 October 2017. British police scoured sections of Salisbury and Amesbury in southwest England, searching for a container feared to be contaminated with traces of the deadly nerve agent Novichok.

The latest USA action follows the Treasury's imposition of sanctions in March against 19 Russian citizens and five entities for interfering in the 2016 United States election - the toughest steps against Moscow since Trump took office.

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The announcement followed earlier moves by Washington to expel dozens of Russian diplomats, in coordination with Britain and other European allies, in response to the poisoning, which authorities said used a highly toxic agent known as Novichok. Russia's embassy in the US called the measures draconian.

Washington had become an unpredictable player on the global stage, Peskov added, saying "anything could be expected" from it and that it was important that Russia's financial system, which he described as stable, was prepared. This included siding with the Russian leader over US intelligence regarding alleged Kremlin interference in the 2016 elections that brought Trump to the White House.

"In our view, these and earlier restrictions are absolutely unlawful and don't conform to worldwide law", Mr Peskov said.

Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal were hospitalized and treated for a nerve-agent attack in March.

A former Defense Department official, Mark Simakovsky, said Wednesday that a second tranche would target Russian exports to the U.S. and theoretically could include restrictions on flights by the state airline Aeroflot as well as a downgrade of diplomatic relations.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a television interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 17, 2018, as he defends President Donald Trump and his Helsinki news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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