Apple Magazine - USA - Issue 406 (2019-08-09)

(Antfer) #1

The export ban and financing restrictions are
part of a package of sanctions imposed on
Russia over the March 2018 poisoning of Sergei
Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence
officer turned double agent for Britain, and his
visiting daughter, Yulia. The pair were found
unconscious on a park bench in the British town
of Salisbury after being exposed to the nerve
agent Novichok. They spent weeks in critical
condition but recovered.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov played
down the latest sanctions, saying the Russian
economy has already proved its resistance to
“external constraints.” He also said that regarding
public and corporate debt, “we are confident that
the financial system we have created allows us to
meet the needs of the budget and enterprises.”

The new U.S. sanctions will take effect in
September and will remain in place for at least a
year. They can only be lifted after that yearlong
period if the administration certifies to Congress
that Russia has provided reliable assurances that
it is not making preparations to use chemical
weapons, will not use chemical weapons in the
future, has allowed international inspectors to
verify those assurances, and has paid restitution
to the victims of the Salisbury attack.

The Skripal poisoning ignited a diplomatic
confrontation in which hundreds of envoys were
expelled by both Russia and Western nations.
In addition to the Skripals, a police officer was
sickened, and a few months later a local man,
who found a perfume bottle containing traces
of the discarded nerve agent, became severely ill
and his girlfriend, Dawn Sturgess, died from the
accidental exposure.

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