US sanctions Russia for the use of chemical and biological weapons

  • The first tranche of US sanctions on Russia relating to the use of chemical and biological weapons came into force on 27 August 2018.
    The US Department of State determined that the Russian Federation has used chemical weapons in violation of international law or against its own nationals. It is believed Russia is responsible for the nerve agent attack in the UK against two UK citizens, ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal, in March 2018.
    In summary, the below sanctions have thus been imposed:

    • Termination of arms sales to Russia. Licenses may be granted in limited circumstances
    • Termination of all foreign military arms sales financing for Russia
    • Denial of US Government credit or other financial assistance to Russia
    • Prohibition on the export to Russia of any national security sensitive goods and technology, with exceptions

    The sanctions are effective for one year but may be renewed.
    The second, tougher tranche of sanctions will come into effect in three months unless Russia can evidence that it has stopped using chemical or biological weapons, it will not engage in these activities in the future and will allow the UN or other internationally recognised observers to conduct on-site inspections.
    The UK has welcomed these new US sanctions and urges the EU to also impose sanctions in response to the nerve agent attack.
    See the US Federal Register Notice here.