Russia calls new U.S. sanctions harsh, rejects poisoning allegations

Russia’s embassy in the United States on Thursday called new U.S. sanctions draconian and said the reason for the new restrictions — allegations it poisoned a former spy and his daughter in Britain — were far-fetched.

The United States on Wednesday announced it would impose fresh sanctions on Russia after Washington determined Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, in Britain.

Russia has repeatedly denied responsibility for the attack, and Russia’s embassy in Washington said in a statement that Washington’s findings against it in the case were not backed by evidence.

“On August 8, 2018 our Deputy Chief of Mission was informed in the State Department of new ‘draconian’ sanctions against Russia for far-fetched accusations of using the ‘Novichok’ nerve agent against a UK citizen,” the embassy said in a statement.

“We grew accustomed to not hearing any facts or evidence.”

The U.S. announcement fueled already worsening investor sentiment about the possible effect of more U.S. sanctions on Russian assets and the rouble slid by over 1 percent on Thursday against the dollar, a day after falling toward its lowest level in nearly two years.

The Russian embassy said Moscow continued to advocate for an open and transparent investigation into the poisoning.

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