The Russian embassy in Washington has described the newly-announced US sanctions against Moscow as unjustified and draconian.

Iran Press- Russian Embassy to the United States said that Washington presented no evidence of Moscow's alleged role in Salisbury poisoning  claiming that the information on the incident was classified.

Earlier, emergency service bosses have praised staff and thanked the public for their responses in handling the major incident in Salisbury this week.

Chiefs from Wiltshire Police, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, Public Health England, South Western Ambulance Service and Salisbury District Hospital addressed reporters at a press conference this afternoon. 

But the panel would not be drawn on why it has taken seven days for information to come to light that hundreds of members of the public could have come into contact with a nerve agent.

Public Health England announced earlier today that up to 500 pub-goers and diners could have been contaminated with traces of the nerve agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal seven days ago. 

The Embassy also noted that Russian had affirmed to the US State Department that it continued to "strongly stand for an open and transparent investigation" into the Salisbury case. The embassy said that the newly-announced sanctions were "draconian", Sputnik reported.

Earlier, the US Department of State announced in a press release new sanctions on Russia on the basis of the allegations of chemical weapon use by Moscow against former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the United Kingdom and demanded that Moscow allow international on-site inspections.

A senior State Department official said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday that the first wave of sanctions will take effect on or around August 22 and will ban licenses for exports of sensitive national security material to Russia.

Video by Reuters

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