The United States on Tuesday announced plans to impose additional sanctions on Russia as it believes Moscow has failed to give reasonable assurances that it will not use chemical weapons. In August, the US had given Moscow 90 days to comply with a law prohibiting the use of chemical weapons, and the deadline ended Tuesday. The Donald Trump administration is now consulting Congress on the added sanctions, AP reported.

The US had threatened the sanctions after Russia allegedly used a nerve gas agent in an attempt to poison former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in England. Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied allegations that Moscow was responsible for the attack.

In August, the US had asked Russia to end the use of nerve agent Novichok, which was allegedly used to poison the spy, vow to not use chemical weapons against its own people, and allow the United Nations to conduct inspections in Russia.

On Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said: “The department informed Congress we could not certify that the Russian Federation met the conditions. We intend to proceed in accordance with the terms of the Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act, which directs the implementation of additional sanctions.”

On Monday, Trump expressed doubts about meeting Putin in Paris next week, where he will fly to for the Armistice Day 100th anniversary, AP reported.

The case

On March 4, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious on a park bench outside a shopping centre in Salisbury, England. They were found to have been poisoned by a nerve agent, and the United Kingdom blamed Russia for the attack. The father and daughter recovered after weeks of treatment.

The poisoning led to a major diplomatic controversy globally. The UK and its allies, including the European Union and members the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats from their territories. This was believed to be the largest collective expulsion of Russian diplomats in history.
Moscow had reciprocated, also by expelling several diplomats.

In July, a woman died in Amesbury town in South West England after being exposed to the same nerve agent. Amesbury is about 13 km from Salisbury. In August, the US announced its decision to impose sanctions on Russia for its alleged use of a nerve agent.