US poised “to announce sanctions against Russia”

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The US is poised to announce sanctions against Russia, following the attack in Salisbury, a former US ambassador has claimed.

John Bolton told Sky it was "a good first step" to have expelled the 23 diplomats – described by the Prime Minister yesterday as undeclared intelligence agents – but said there should be a "much more significant" set of measures.

He added that the US was "within minutes" of announcing new sanctions and that other world powers were likely to follow suit. He declined to comment further, however, saying we should wait for the announcement "which is coming very, very shortly".

"I think Russia should pay a substantial price for this incident and I think it should be clear that if they try anything like it in future they will pay a disproportionate price for it in the future," he said.

The US this morning issued a joint statement with France, Germany and the UK blaming Russia for the nerve agent attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

The statement said: "It is an assault on UK sovereignty and any such use by a state party is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and a breach of international law. It threatens the security of us all."

On Tuesday Trump spoke with Theresa May, where he told her the US was "with the UK all the way".

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