Russia threatens to ban rocket engine supply to US in response to sanctions
Russia has threatened to restrict the sales of rocket engines to the United States in response to sanctions over a former Russian agent’s poisoning in the UK in March.
Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev warned the US on Friday that the sanctions it imposed on Moscow over the nerve agent attack on ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter might be treated as the beginning of a trade war. He also said Russia would respond to this 'war' by other means.
Sergei Ryabukhin, head of the budget committee in the upper house of parliament, said Moscow will respond to the sanctions and suggested, in particular, the restriction of exports to the United States of the RD-180 rocket engine, which powers the first stage of the Atlas 5 rocket made by Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
The relationship between the US and Russia came under strain this week as the US government announced on Wednesday it would impose sanctions on Russia to prevent them obtaining access to weapons, financial assistance or technology related to US security. The government blames Moscow for the poisoning of the Russian ex-spy and his daughter living in Britain in March.
President Vladimir Putin's spokesman denied again any involvement from the Kremlin in the attack: "We deny in the strongest terms the accusations about the possible connection of the Russian state to what happened in Salisbury," the spokesman said. "This is out of the question. Russia did not and does not have, and could not have, any connection to the use of chemical weapons."
Washington said it would impose a second round of "draconian" sanctions in 90 days unless Russia provided assurances that it would abandon the use of such chemical weapons.