President Donald Trump's administration has not imposed new sanctions on Russia over the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, NBC News reports.
Trump encountered controversy earlier this week, after The New York Times reported his administration plans to lift sanctions on companies under the control of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.
Although the initial series of sanctions over the Skripal poisoning took effect in August, the Trump administration vowed to "proceed" with additional sanctions if Russia continued to violate the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act, as legislators found Moscow did in the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the U.K. last year.
State Department officials told NBC that implementing those sanctions could prove more complicated because of the potential harm they could cause American businesses. The Trump administration must impose at least three penalties from a variety of options, including a ban on American banks from granting Russia credit, suspending diplomatic relations, and limiting or ceasing imports from and exports to Russia.
"The administration has a fair amount of flexibility about how they apply these sanctions and we have seen abundant indications that Donald Trump isn't a big fan of imposing major sanctions versus Russia," said Andrew Weiss, the former Russia director at the National Security Council in the Clinton Administration who is now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
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