‘Mortal Risk’: Commerce Department Tightens Restrictions On Exports To Russia Over Use Of Chemical Weapons On Its Own People

(Alexei Druzhinin / Getty)

Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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The Commerce Department expanded export restrictions on Russia after the foreign government used chemical weapons against its own citizens, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The restrictions will begin March 18 and include items such as technology, software and parts, according to the press release.

Russia President Vladimir Putin chairs a video meeting of the Pobeda (Victory) organising committee at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on July 2, 2020, as he thanked Russians today after a nationwide vote approved controversial constitutional reforms that allow him to extend his rule until 2036. (Photo by ALEXEI DRUZHININ/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

“By deploying illegal nerve agents against dissidents, both inside and outside its borders, the Russian government has acted in flagrant violation of its commitments under the Chemical Weapons Convention and has directly put its own citizens and those of other countries at mortal risk,” the Commerce Department said in a public statement. “The Department of Commerce is committed to preventing Russia from accessing sensitive U.S. technologies that might be diverted to its malign chemical weapons activities.”

The export restrictions occurred after the Russian government deployed a Novichok nerve agent against Russian opposition figure Aleksey Navalny on August 20, 2020, according to the press release. (RELATED: Alexei Nalvany Says He’s Being Kept In ‘A Real Concentration Camp’)

Two years earlier, in August 2018 and August 2019, the U.S. government imposed two sets of sanctions against Russia in accordance with the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act after the Russian government used the same nerve agent against a former military officer and his daughter, the press release stated.