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US seeks to deny Russia imports & intl loans with new round of Skripal-inspired sanctions

US seeks to deny Russia imports & intl loans with new round of Skripal-inspired sanctions

The US has announced a second round of financial sanctions on Moscow based on claims that Russian intelligence operatives attempted to assassinate former double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia last year in London using the banned and extremely deadly poison Novichok.

The sanctions prohibit US banks from some types of participation in the Russian sovereign debt market and impose export licensing restrictions on goods controlled by the Department of Commerce. The US will also oppose loans and assistance to Russia by international financial institutions.

Moscow doubts the sanctions have anything to do with the Skripal affair or bilateral ties at all, instead suggesting they are political theater stemming from the 2020 presidential campaign and an effort to pander to incoming British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. US and UK authorities blamed Russia for the Skripals’ poisoning in the absence of proof and before any investigation. The Skripals fully recovered from their exposure to the allegedly fatal poison, though they have not been seen or heard from since, aside from a stilted TV appearance by Yulia and a voicemail that a relative believes to be authentic. The sanctions are set to take effect in 15 days.

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