WASHINGTON, March 2 (Sputnik) - The US Department of State has announced a new round of sanctions against Russia, introduced in connection with the alleged poisoning of opposition activist Alexei Navalny, which Washington has repeatedly blamed on the Kremlin, despite presenting no solid evidence to substantiate such claims. The new round of sanctions targeted the defence industry, with Russia being added to the list of countries denied exports of defence articles and defence services.

At the same time, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken noted that certain sectors will be exempt from the new round of sanctions for the next six months. "Exports in support of commercial space cooperation, however, will be restricted following a six-month transition period", Blinken said.

The secretary of state also said certain exceptions will be made "in support of government space cooperation", but gave no indication as to how long they will last. According to the US Department of State, the new sanctions will remain in effect for at least 12 months.

The defence industry is not the only sphere in Russia that the new round of American sanctions will affect. Washington will cease all programmes under foreign assistance acts related to Russia, except urgent humanitarian assistance. The US also prohibited providing any credits or financial assistance to Russia by any government departments.

The State Department also announced sanctions against numerous scientific institutions and Russian officials in the president's administration and in the Federal Security Service (FSB), over their alleged involvement in Navalny's alleged poisoning.