White House says considering additional sanctions on Russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday it is considering additional sanctions on Russia following a suspected poison gas attack in Syria, but has not made a decision yet.

"We are considering additional sanctions on Russia and a decision will be made in the near future," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

She did not say why sanctions would be imposed but the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said on Sunday that the United States is preparing new sanctions on Russia over its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

If the U.S. sanctions are enacted, they will be the second such batch in just over a year against Syria's weapons of mass destruction program. Assad is a close ally of Moscow.

The United States also imposed sanctions on 24 Russians earlier this month over what U.S. intelligence agencies have said was interference in the U.S. presidential election. Moscow has denied any wrongdoing.

Washington has said it had proof that Syrian forces conducted a deadly chemical weapons attack on April 7, although a visit by chemical weapons inspectors to the suspected attack site was delayed on Monday.

(Reporting by James Oliphant; Additional reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by David Alexander and Alistair Bell)

04/16/2018 11:19

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