The Trump administration slammed Russia with new sanctions Thursday as a direct response to the Kremlin’s involvement in interfering with the 2016 US presidential election; escalating the war of words between the US and Russia as relations between the two nations continue to deteriorate.
The White House unveiled new sanctions against five Russian-backed institutions and at least 19 foreign nationals for meddling in US electoral politics; raising the stakes just hours after the US and its European allies accused Putin of assassinating a former spy on British soil.
“These sanctions target a wide range of Russia’s destabilizing activities, including interference in the 2016 U.S. election,” said one official from the Treasury Department.
”We continue to be very focused … on pressuring Russia for its continued efforts to destabilize Ukraine, occupy Crimea, meddle in elections, as well as for its endemic corruption and human rights abuses,” they added.
The new sanctions come as President Trump -joined by the leaders of France, the UK, and Germany- formally accused Russia of a deadly gas attack inside the United Kingdom this week; killing a former spy and endangering the lives of hundreds of British nationals.
h/t Daily Mail
RUSSIAN ROULETTE: US, European Allies SLAM PUTIN Over UK Poison Plot
Leaders from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and France harshly condemned the Russian government in a scathing statement sent to the Kremlin Thursday; saying the NATO allies “abhor the attack” that rocked a quiet English town this week.
The heads of those nations -including President Trump- signed the joint declaration; slamming Russian President Vladimir Putin for using a deadly “nerve agent” to assassinate a former Russian spy on British soil and endangering the lives of hundreds.
“This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War,” said the letter. “It is an assault on UK sovereignty and any such use by a State party is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and a breach of international law. It threatens the security of us all.”
“We share the UK assessment that there is no plausible alternative explanation, and note that Russia’s failure to address the legitimate request by the UK government further underlines its responsibility,” it adds. “We call on Russia to address all questions related to the attack in Salisbury.”
The fallout from the attack continued Wednesday when the British armed forces entered a second English village; tracking down “every molecule” of the Soviet-era nerve agent and urging local residents to “remain indoors” until authorities can determine if any health dangers persist.
‘STAY INDOORS’: UK Armed Forces Enters SECOND TOWN Over Russia POISON PLOT
Tensions between the United Kingdom and Russia spiked this week following an alleged Russian-backed assassination plot against a former spy; with British armed forces scrambling to “track down every molecule” of the deadly chemicals deployed on the streets of a quaint English town.
According to the Daily Mail, the military and local law enforcement descended on a second village in Dorset Wednesday; scrubbing the area for traces of the nerve agent used during the assassination of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal.
Skripal was found hunched-over on a park bench in the quiet town of Salisbury. Local residents have been advised to “stay in your homes” while police determine if the chemical still poses a health risk.
Russian authorities have vigorously denied any knowledge of the incident, demanding Prime Minister Theresa May submit evidence of the attack to an international body for further investigation.
In response, the UK government has given 23 Russian diplomats just one week to vacate the country; saying “Through these expulsions we will fundamentally degrade Russian intelligence capability in the UK for years to come.”
"Under the Vienna Convention, the United Kingdom will now expel 23 Russian diplomats who have been identified as undeclared intelligence officers. Through these expulsions we will fundamentally degrade Russian intelligence capability in the UK for years to come."
— Foreign Office 🇬🇧 (@foreignoffice) March 14, 2018