Senior Russian politicians and bosses of their spying network could have sanctions imposed on them within months following the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

The move comes as EU leaders are poised to agree a new chemical weapons sanction regime at a meeting, according to The Telegraph.

The UK and France are pressing for the new system to be adopted at the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Luxemburg.

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Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, along with a number of close allies will call for those responsible for the use and proliferation of chemical weapons to have assets frozen and travel bans imposed under the new regime.

He will also tell the FAC that plans for a new cyber-related sanctions regime must be sped up to try to tackle the growing menace of Russians targeting other countries' computer networks.

Mr. Hunt will thank eight foreign ministers at Chevening for their support in the effort to end the use of chemical weapons.

Ministers from Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania will join Mr. Hunt at his official residence, before heading to Luxembourg.

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Mr. Hunt said: "For years there has been an international taboo on the use of chemical weapons but that is at risk now after Syria and Salisbury. We now need to redraw the red line that says that for anyone using these horrific weapons the price will always be too high. These new sanctions are vital, but they are not the end of the story."

A foreign office spokesman said: "It would not come as any surprise if the UK was pushing listings associated in some way with what happened in Salisbury. But this isn't just about Russia and Salisbury, it targets chemical weapons use across the globe."

Two senior GRU officers - now identified as Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin, a military doctor - were despatched to Salisbury to carry out the nerve agent attack on March 4. Although Russia continue to deny any involvement.

Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, 33, survived the attack in which military grade nerve agent novichok was smeared on their front door handle.

However, Dawn Sturgess, a local resident, died when she sprayed herself with novichok that was contained in a fake perfume bottle that had been discarded by the hitmen.

Chepiga and Mishkin - under their false identities Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov - have been charged in absentia with the nerve agent attack.