Russia Says US Sanctions are Intended to 'Demonize' the Country

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were attacked with novichok and found slumped on a bench in Salisbury in March

9 responded to new US sanctions accusing it of conducting an illegal chemical attack, calling them "unacceptable".

The Kremlin also denied all accusations that it was involved in the chemical poisoning attack.

He said that Russian Federation will retaliate "with economic means, political means and, if necessary, other means".

Earlier, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that further strengthening of economic sanctions against Russia, Moscow will be regarded as a Declaration of economic war.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said states that "use or condone" chemical weapons "need to know there is a price to pay", adding: "Thank you U.S. for standing firm with us on this".

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks during an award ceremony of the members of the national soccer team at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, July 28, 2018.

But initial triumphalism swiftly turned sour as anger over what some U.S. lawmakers saw as an over deferential performance by Trump and his failure to confront Putin over Moscow's alleged meddling in United States politics galvanised a new sanctions push. Russian Federation doesn't retaliate almost so frequently, but has tended to respond to the biggest sanctions with comparable measures of their own.

Maria Zakharova, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said Thursday that the ongoing waves of "odious" sanctions are an effort to demonize Russian Federation.

The full U.S. Congress will not be back in Washington until September, and the Reuters news agency cited congressional aides as saying they do not expect the measure to pass in its entirety.

It was one of a strain of nerve agents known as Novichok that they say is kept under tight control by the Russian authorities.

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"It's critical that we use every tool at our disposal to confront Putin's use of chemical weapons, as well as his efforts to undermine our democracy", the Republican from California said.

Russian officials lambasted new US sanctions Friday and vowed to push back in response as relations between the two countries continue to deteriorate.

A second set of potentially more serious measures will be introduced only if Moscow fails to provide reliable assurances it will no longer use chemical weapons and blocks on-site inspections. The Russian government has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attack.

The fact of this determination triggered the sanctions, but if now the presidential administration determines that Russian Federation had failed to meet certain chemical and biological weapons-related conditions, another set of even larger sanctions will be enacted.

He said the new sanctions amount to "inflicting a punishment in the absence of a crime, in the tradition of lynch law".

Sanctions waivers were in place for certain key sectors, including space flight activities and commercial aviation safety, the official said.

The state department said "more draconian" sanctions will follow within three months if Russian Federation does not give assurances that it will not use chemical weapons and allow on-site inspections by the United Nations.

"I wish the president got more credit for what he has done to punish Russian Federation because he's certainly been virtually brutal to them and anything but a puppet of them", Huckabee said on "Outnumbered" on Thursday.

A spokesman for President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation struck a cautious tone and said Moscow remained committed to building "constructive relations with the U.S." and wouldn't draft countermeasures before learning the full details.

European countries and the United States expelled 100 Russian diplomats after the attack, in the strongest action by Trump against Russia since he came to office.

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