The Russian ruble is getting slammed amid USA sanctions


Russian and US Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, held their first full-format talks in the Finnish capital city Helsinki on July 16.

State Department says it will impose new sanctions on Russian Federation for using a nerve agent to poison a former spy and his daughter in Britain.

This week, the State Department said Russian Federation had "used chemical or biological weapons in violation of global law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals".

In a phone call with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed Moscow's "categorical disagreement" with the punitive measures announced Wednesday in connection with the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in Britain.

Maria Zakharova, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said Thursday that the ongoing waves of "odious" sanctions are an effort to demonize Russian Federation. Pompeo reiterated that Washington wanted a better relationship with Moscow and he and Lavrov agreed to future dialogue, she said, without elaborating.

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On Thursday, the Russian currency fell to its lowest dollar value in nearly two years, plummeting to 66.70, according to the CNBC.

Separate U.S. legislation introduced last week in draft form by Republican and Democratic senators, dubbed "the sanctions bill from hell" by one of its backers, proposes curbs on the operations of several state-owned Russian banks in the United States and restrictions on their use of the dollar.

State Department officials said there would be "carve-outs" in the sanctions for "the provision of foreign assistance to Russia and to the Russian people", as well as for joint spaceflight activities and commercial aviation.

The new USA sanctions would cover sensitive national-security controlled goods, a senior State Department official told reporters. Other exemptions could be granted on a case-by-case basis. These could go as far as a ban on Russian airlines using U.S. airports. He goes as far as saying that Trump is most likely aware of the existence of blackmail material often referred to as "kompromat".

The United Kingdom blamed Russia for the attack, resulting in the expulsion of 150 Russian diplomats from the U.K., U.S. and other allies. Washington ordered 60 diplomats to leave and closed the Russian consulate-general in Seattle.

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Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow had not yet received any official USA request to open up sites once linked to chemical weapons for inspection.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said the sanctions send "an unequivocal message to Russian Federation that its provocative, reckless behaviour will not go unchallenged".

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt thanked the United States on Thursday in a tweet.

The Guardian on Monday reported that London is preparing to ask Moscow to extradite two Russian citizens suspected of carrying out the Salisbury nerve agent attack in March.

British officials said they found evidence the substance used in the attack was Novichok, a nerve gas developed in the Soviet Union during the 1980s. Moscow has been blamed for the poisonings, but has denied any involvement.

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Senior Russian lawmaker Vyacheslav Nikonov said a second set of sanctions may be inevitable and predicted it would pitch relations to a new low.