In-Depth: Congressmen Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) introduced this bill in response to the March 4 Russian nerve agent attack and its violation of international norms:
“The Russian government-sanctioned attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Officer Nick Bailey last month on British soil violated international law and indicates Putin's growing aggression and disregard for international standards of conduct. It's imperative that the United States stands with the United Kingdom and our international partners in signaling resolve with a strong response… That's why we introduced the bipartisan Stand with UK Against Russia Violations Act, which reinforces U.S. commitment to the United Kingdom and NATO by sanctioning those responsible for the Salisbury attack and seeks to deter anyone who will commit similar attacks in the future on behalf of the Russian government. This bill also targets Russian financial institutions until Putin ceases [Russia’s] practice of assassinating expatriates and dissidents outside of Russia. We must send a clear, bipartisan message that the United States stands with our allies and will not tolerate such illegal actions, and this legislation does just that."
There are two cosponsors of this bill, both of whom are Republicans.
Of Note: The March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia left both in critical condition and also is believed to have caused the death of a third person, Dawn Sturgess, who was exposed. Exposure also caused Det. Sgt. Nick Bailey, to become ill during the investigation and Charles Rowley, Sturgess’s partner, to be hospitalized in critical condition. The poison used in the attack, novichok — a nerve agent developed by Soviet scientists for battlefield use against Western troops — is highly toxic.
According to the British government, Yulia Skripal rejected an offer of Russian consular assistance, although she has not been seen or heard from since her release from the hospital. Russia, for its part, has insisted on being allowed access to both Yulia and Sergei, and claims it believes the two are being held against their wills.
While Moscow has denied any involvement in the poisoning, the U.K. France, Germany, and the U.S. have all stated their belief that Russia was behind the attack. Following the attack. The U.K.’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, expelled 23 Russian diplomats related to the attack — a move that was followed by the United States’ expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats from its country and a tit-for-tat expulsion of U.K. and U.S. diplomats from Russia by the Kremlin.
Following the attack, the leaders of France, Germany, the U.S. and the U.K. released a joint statement condemning the attack:
“It is an assault on UK sovereignty and any such use by a State party is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and a breach of international law. It threatens the security of us all.”
Summary by Lorelei Yang(Photo Credit: Raylipscombe / iStock)