House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) forwarded correspondence last week urging the Trump Administration to hold Russia accountable for its likely use of chemical weapons in recent attacks on civilians in the United Kingdom.
In his letter, Royce noted the Administration missed a statutorily required deadline under the Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 to report whether the Russian government is responsible for the attack.
“You have already indicated in a previous statement that it is highly likely Russia is responsible for these brazen attacks and thereafter ordered the expulsion of dozens of Russian intelligence officers from the United States in response to Russia’s use of a military-grade chemical weapon on the soil of the United Kingdom,” Royce wrote. “Your enforcement of the Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 is critical to deterring additional attacks. Upon your determination that Russia is responsible for the March 15 poisonings, mandatory sanctions will be imposed.”
The chairman referenced the sanctions would remain in place, increasing over time, until Russia takes steps that include allowing U.N. inspections and providing assurances it would not again use banned chemical weapons.
Royce has requested the administration comply with the law and issue the report to the Foreign Affairs Committee by Aug. 9, 2018.