MOSCOW (Reuters) – The United States has yet to decide if it will impose new sanctions on Russia, U.S. President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Wednesday, saying it was in the process of making a decision.
Bolton made the comments at a news conference in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, according to a transcript of the event provided by the U.S. National Security Council.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russia’s Interfax news agency had incorrectly reported Bolton as saying that the United States was not currently considering imposing additional sanctions on Russia, sending the rouble higher.
But the transcript showed Bolton had said that the matter was being actively considered in Washington.
“On the potential for additional sanctions on Russia, we are still considering what we may be obligated to do under a statute related to chemical weapons attacks,” the transcript cited Bolton as saying.
“No decision has been made at this point, and I wouldnжt predict timing, whether it might be before the (U.S. mid-term)election or after the election. The decision-making is ongoing as we speak.”
The U.S. State Department in August announced sanctions which targeted U.S. exports of sensitive national-security related goods to Russia after determining that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, in Britain, something Moscow denies.
It said at the time it would consider imposing a second tranche of sanctions after 90 days if Moscow failed to provide “reliable assurances” it would no longer use chemical weapons and stopped blocking on-site inspections.
Writing by Andrey Kuzmin/Andrew Osborn; Editing by Polina Ivanova