MOSCOW-Russian officials and companies were bracing for further economic pain Thursday, as the USA decision to punish the Kremlin for an alleged nerve-agent attack in the United Kingdom diminished hopes of a bilateral thaw.
Under the new sanctions, which will take effect in two weeks, requests by American companies to sell Russian Federation items with a potential national security goal will be automatically denied, with few exceptions.
"Following a 15-day Congressional notification period, these sanctions will take effect upon publication of a notice in the Federal Register, expected on or around August 22, 2018".
The sanctions will cover sensitive national security goods, a senior State Department official told reporters on a conference call.
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.
It's a benefit, they argue, of policies put in place amid a raft of Western sanctions imposed over Russian actions in Ukraine and alleged interference in the US 2016 presidential elections.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with spokesman Dmitry Peskov, center, and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi on May 18. One of them, Dawn Sturgess, died eight days later. "So linking these events is unacceptable to us, and just as with previous USA sanctions we believe are absolutely illegal and against global law", Peskov told reporters.
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. That could include the US withdrawing support for worldwide loans and USA bank loans, blocking Russian airlines from landing in the US, and suspending diplomatic relations.
Russia's embassy in London said they had not received any extradition requests over allegations any of its citizens were involved in the novichok poisonings.
Russia says it is preparing "countermeasures" to what it calls "categorically unacceptable" new sanctions being imposed by the United States over Moscow's alleged poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in England with a military nerve agent.
"In our view, these and earlier restrictions are absolutely unlawful and don't conform to global law", Mr Peskov said. "So that is going to be a carve-out under this - under these new sanctions", the official added.
"We are being threatened with further escalation of sanctions pressure", she said.
The new USA sanctions would cover sensitive national-security controlled goods, a senior State Department official told reporters.
Trump caught flak from Democrats and Republicans alike for what many saw as his unsettling embrace of Putin last month at their Helsinki summit, when Trump appeared to disavow his own intelligence agencies' assessment on Moscow's election interference.
Paul said the letter "emphasized the importance of further engagement in various areas including countering terrorism, enhancing legislative dialogue and resuming cultural exchanges".