U.S. imposes sanctions on Russian Federation over Salisbury spy poisoning

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Police officers stand on duty outside Sergei Skripal's home in Salisbury, Britain, July 19, 2018.

The US is to impose sanctions on Russia after determining that it used nerve agent against former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the United Kingdom in March.

The US State Department has for the first time explicitly blamed the nerve agent attack against ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on Vladimir Putin's government.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Wednesday it had been determined that Russian Federation "has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of global law, or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals".

The U.S. had joined Britain in condemning Russia for the Skripal poisoning and joined with European nations in expelling Russian diplomats in response, but it had yet to make the formal determination that the Russian government had "used chemical or biological weapons in violation of global law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals".

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Sergei, a former KGB colonel, and Yulia were fighting for life but eventually made a full recovery after spending weeks in intensive care.

Following a 15-day congressional notification period, the sanctions will take effect on or around August 22, according to a statement from the State Department.

Reports earlier this week that the United Kingdom was preparing to request the extradition of two Russians it suspected of being behind the attack were found to be less advanced than initially suggested, Sky sources said.

They believe the bottle was then dropped somewhere in the city, where Charlie Rowley picked it up and gave it to his partner Dawn Sturgess, who died after apparently spritzing it on her wrist.

Rowley and Sturgess were hospitalised after being exposed to the deadly nerve agent June 30.

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