Washington will oppose “the extension of any loan or financial or technical assistance to Russia” by financial institutions and put limits on US banks from purchasing Russian sovereign debt, US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement on Saturday.
The US will also limit the export of goods and technology to Russia that could be used in the country’s chemical and biological arms programmes, Ortagus said.
She added that the measures could prevent Russia from accessing “billions of dollars of bilateral commercial activity with the United States”.
The sanctions will come into effect following a 15-day congressional notification period – around August 15 – and will remain in place for a minimum of 12 months, according to the State Department.
Last year, the US imposed an initial batch of sanctions against Russia over the attack on Skripal, which included bans on arms sales and exports of national security-sensitive goods and the termination of most US assistance to Russia.
The U.S. today is announcing a 2nd round of sanctions on #Russia after its use of a #novichok nerve agent in the assassination attempt on Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March 2018. Russia has failed to take responsibility and has not disavowed use of chemical weapons. pic.twitter.com/sAmaWV4PJC
— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) August 3, 2019
Moscow said the new sanctions would damage already strained US-Russia ties.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russia’s state-owned RT TV he regretted that the relationship between the two countries has become a political football in the US.
He added that Moscow linked the sanctions to the upcoming presidential elections in the US and said Moscow was ready to defend itself from any negative consequences caused by the new restrictions.
Russian spies were blamed for poisoning Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury, in March last year, using the Soviet-developed nerve agent Novichok.
The attack – the first offensive use of chemical weapons in Europe since World War II – led to international outcry and prompted the mass expulsion of Russian diplomats by Western nations, including the US.
London said the attempted assassination was “almost certainly” approved by Moscow and that Russians Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun were behind the killing.
Moscow denies any involvement in the poisoning and has offered several alternative explanations and counter-accusations.
Lugovoi and Kovtun have never been tried and the former has since become a politician in Russia.
Skripal, a former officer with the GRU, was found guilty in 2006 of “high treason” before being traded in a spy exchange between Moscow, London and Washington.