The Trump administration will hit Russia with new sanctions over the attempted assassination in Britain of a former Kremlin spy, the latest in a string of moves aimed at standing up to Moscow after President Donald Trump's controversial summit with Vladimir Putin.
The State Department made the announcement Wednesday after concluding that Russia used a banned nerve agent, Novichok, to try and kill the ex-spy, Sergei Skripal, according to spokeswoman Heather Nauert.
Nauert said a U.S. investigation found Moscow had "used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals."
Skripal, a retired Russian military intelligence officer, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, were found unconscious in the English city of Salisbury on March 4. Yulia was released from the hospital in April after being treated for the nerve agent attack. Her father was discharged in May.
Wednesday's action comes a week after the Trump administration organized a briefing of top national security officials to warn about Russia's ongoing attempts to spread disinformation in America. The State Department last week also called out Russia specifically after Facebook announced it had removed nearly three dozen propaganda pages, some of which linked back to prior Kremlin information warfare efforts.
Several observers saw the moves as an attempt to counteract the narrative that Trump had kowtowed to Putin during a one-on-one summit held nearly a month ago. Trump was criticized for not pressing Putin aggressively on several issues, such as election meddling, during a press conference after the meeting.