Russia categorically rejects new US sanctions: Foreign minister Lavrov to US secretary of state Pompeo

WION Web Team
Moscow, Russia Published: Aug 10, 2018, 10:09 PM(IST)

File photo of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Photograph:( Reuters )

As the US imposed sanctions on Russia over the alleged nerve gas attack on a former spy in Salisbury, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov called US secretary of state  Mike Pompeo and said his country "categorically rejects" the sanctions.

Also Read: US sanctions on Russia illegal and against international law: Kremlin

Earlier in the day, Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev warned that further sanctions would mean "declaration of economic war".

"The Russian side expressed categorical rejection of the new sanctions recently announced by Washington," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Lavrov told Pompeo that Moscow did not play any role in the poisioning of  Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, which prompted the latest US sanctions.

"Lavrov stressed that neither the US nor Britain nor any other country since the incident in Salisbury has presented a single fact to back up such claims," the Russian foreign ministry said.

Meanwhile, PM Medvedev said Russia will retaliate "by economic means, by political means and if necessary by other means."

The White House too condemned the poisoning incident even as reports said president Vladimir Putin discussed possible new US sanctions against Russia with his Security Council.

Putin and members of the Security Council said the latest round of sanctions was "absolutely illegal" under international law, a stand which was expressed by Kremlin on Thursday.

The State Department said the sanctions were aimed at punishing Moscow for having "used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law", mandated under the Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991. 

The Trump administration's sanctions on Russia will come in two tranches, in the first US exports will target national security-related goods.

In the second round which could prove to treacherous for Russia, the US plans to blocking all American bank loans to Russian entities, an outright ban on US exports to Russia, and suspension of diplomatic relations.

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