On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry in a statement said that US Skripal-related sanctions unveiled last week calling for inspections undermines the authority of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which confirmed that Russia had destroyed all such weapons.
"The official [US] justifications for this latest set of sanctions prove that they are not the real reasons because they are too ridiculous to be taken seriously by any thinking person," Armstrong said. "The OPCW certified… that Russia had eliminated its chemical weapons stocks. Who is supposed to certify that it still has?"
Now that Washington was punishing countries and businesses that did not go along with its sanctions, the sanctions would hurt US allies and probably, as with the earlier sanctions and counter-sanctions, hurt them more than Russia, Armstrong predicted.
"The upshot? The Moscow-Beijing alliance will be strengthened and Moscow's determination to reduce its exposure redoubled," he argued.
The US government and its allies have blamed Russia for the March 4 chemical attack on former GRU officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England. Russian authorities have strongly refuted the allegations as groundless, citing lack of evidence and London’s refusal to cooperate in a probe.