USA to hit Russian Federation with new sanctions over Syria

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Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, said on Sunday (April 15) that more sanctions against Russian Federation are coming this week, as early as Monday.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Sunday that the sanctions are being imposed "without any link to any realities".

"They will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use", Haley said. I think everyone is going to feel it at this point.

"We wanted to send a strong message that they needed to stop the chemical weapons program", she added.

"The last time the United States launched a missile attack against the Shayrat airfields (in April 2017), it really did not put a dent into Syria's chemical weapons arsenal or air forces", Piazza said. Russian Federation has vetoed at least six resolutions in the United Nations Security Council regarding chemical weapons.

Haley also appeared on Fox News on Sunday and listed three aims for the U.S: ensuring that chemical weapons are not used in any way that pose a risk to US interests, that Islamic State is defeated and that there is a good vantage point to watch what Iran is doing.

The aim, she said, is "to see American troops come home, but we are not going to leave until we know we have accomplished those things".

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"Everything that has strained the relationship is on Russia's side", she said, adding that the USA hopes for improved relations with Moscow, but that "we're not going to put up with bad behavior to get it".

The Trump administration has placed sanctions on Russian individuals and entities, including penalties targeting Russian oligarchs who are close to President Vladimir Putin. But the rollout of new sanctions is usually closely guarded, in part to prevent people subjected to sanctions from quickly moving their money around. The Treasury Department does not comment on pending sanctions. The operation targeted three Syrian chemical weapons facilities - one in the capital of Damascus and two others near Homs, near the border with northern Lebanon. But it is unclear how much capacity Syria retains to produce chemical weapons and whether the strikes chipped away at the government's political will to deploy them.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he had persuaded Trump to commit long-term to Syria.

The strike on President Bashar Assad's chemical weapons facilities was the price Syria paid for using chemical weapons on its citizens.

Haley rejected the premise posed by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace that the USA has condoned Assad's use of conventional weapons to kill rebels attacking his forces, just not chemical agents.

"If you look at what Russian Federation is doing, they continue to be involved with all the wrong actors, whether their involvement in Ukraine, whether you look at how they are supporting Venezuela, whether you look in Syria and their way of propping up Assad and working with Iran, that continues to be a problem", Haley said. "And should he use it again, the president has made it very clear that the United States is locked and loaded and ready to go".

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