May 18, 2024

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War in Ukraine | The US accuses Russia of using chemical agents

War in Ukraine |  The US accuses Russia of using chemical agents

(Washington) The United States has accused Russia of using the chemical chloropyrin against Ukrainian forces in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CIWC).

In addition, Russia is using riot control agents “in Ukraine as a method of warfare and in violation of the Convention,” the US diplomat added in the text.

“The use of these chemicals was not an isolated incident and may have been prompted by Russian forces' desire to dislodge Ukrainian forces from fortified positions and make tactical advances on the battlefield,” the Defense Department wrote.

At the same time, Washington announced new sanctions on Wednesday targeting Russian or foreign companies or individuals accused of participating in the Russian war effort on Ukraine.

In addition to Russian defense agencies and Chinese companies, these sanctions also concern several research units and institutions involved in Russian chemical and biological weapons programs.

“Russia's continued disregard for its obligations under CIAC is consistent with its actions to poison Alexei Navalny and Sergei and Yulia Skripal with Novichok-type nerve agents,” the department continues.

Alexei Navalny, a former opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, died on February 16 of acute poisoning, which he blamed on the Kremlin.

Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal were poisoned in England in 2018.

Russia has said it no longer possesses chemical weapons, but the country is facing pressure for greater transparency over its alleged use of toxic weapons.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), chloropyrin is a chemical used as a warfare agent and pesticide and, if inhaled, poses a health hazard.

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“Circumference” of Obstacles

“Today's sanctions are aimed at further destabilizing and weakening the Russian war effort by attacking its basic military industry and the diversion networks that help it supply itself (existing sanctions, editor's note),” declared US Treasury Secretary Janet. Yellen was quoted as saying in a press release.

Sixteen of the foreign companies targeted were Chinese or Hong Kong, most of which were accused of helping Russia supply generally banned parts, but two of which were accused of buying materials needed for weapons production.

The bans apply to companies from five countries – the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Azerbaijan – and two members of the European Union, Belgium and Slovakia.

About a hundred Russian companies operate in more than 200, particularly in the defense, transport or technology sectors.

Finally, the sanctions concern Russian gas and oil infrastructure. As there are not enough oil and gas pipelines in the east, this export is currently carried out by tankers or LNG tankers.

These sanctions specifically provide for freezing the assets of targeted companies or individuals located in the United States and prohibiting U.S. companies or citizens from doing business with the targets of the sanctions.

G7 members and several close countries such as the European Union and Australia and South Korea have increased sanctions against Russia since the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Recent sanctions have specifically targeted the mining sector, particularly aluminium, copper and nickel, whose imports to the US and UK are now banned.