The US is starting the procedure of imposing a second round of sanctions on Russia for using chemical weapons, US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert announced on Tuesday.
November 6 was the deadline given to the Russian government to give international inspectors access to chemical facilities and to provide guarantees that the chemical weaponry would not be used again.
“Today, the department informed Congress we could not certify that the Russian Federation meets the conditions established by the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons Elimination Act,” Nauert stated.
The act stipulates that sanctions are to be automatically imposed on any countries caught using chemical weapons. The first stage was carried out in August, and involved a tightening of restrictions on the transfer of technology. The ban included electronics, calibration systems and other dual use goods, including avionics.
Since Russia failed to comply with the terms within the three month period allocated to it, the US State Department intends to “proceed in accordance with the terms of the CBW Act, which directs the implementation of additional sanctions”, Nauert added.
The second round could include steps to lower the status of diplomatic relations, ban Aeroflot flights to the US, and even put at end to all US exports to Russia, sources told NBC News in August.
The sanctions will be “harsh” and may affect the banking sector, said US Assistant Secretary of State at hearings in Congress in September. She said that new defense restrictions are being considered, as well as a “whole list of measures which will punish the Russian government”.