NEW YORK: Secretary of State Michael Pompeo discussed with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov the recent sanctions imposed by the US on Moscow and reiterated that Washington seeks an "improved relationship" with Moscow.
Last week, the Trump administration had said it would impose new sanctions against Russia to punish Moscow for the use of a nerve agent in an assassination attempt on a British citizen and his daughter.
Pompeo spoke over phone yesterday with Lavrov and during the call reiterated that the United States seeks an improved relationship with Russia and agreed to future dialogue, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a yesterday.
The Secretary discussed with Lavrov recent sanctions imposed on Russia pursuant to the Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 as well as the ongoing challenges in Syria.
Nauert had said that following the use of a "Novichok" nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate UK citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal, the United States, on August 6, determined under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act) that the "Government of the Russian Federation has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals."
Following a 15-day Congressional notification period, these sanctions will take effect around August 22.
The Kremlin had said the sanctions were illegal and unfriendly and that the U.S. move was counter with the constructive atmosphere of Trump and Putin's encounter in Helsinki. Moscow would start to work on retaliatory measures in the same spirit as any U.S. restrictions, the Foreign Ministry said.