| 13 April 2024, Saturday |

Congress to Label Russia as Terrorist State

The US Senate unanimously passed on Wednesday a nonbinding resolution calling to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democrat Richard Blumenthal called on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to designate Moscow as a terrorist state.

The move would bar imports into Russia, penalize governments that continue to trade with Russia, and increase the risks and costs for businesses that remain in the country.

It would also trigger an exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, possibly forcing Russia to face both compensatory damages and punitive action in US courts for its support of terrorism.

The two Senators said that since beginning its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Russian attacks have struck hospitals, theaters, apartment blocks, hotels, and shopping malls — purposefully, systematically killing thousands of innocent civilians.

“Russia’s campaign of ruthless aggression is meant to brutalize the people of Ukraine. It is meant to harm civilians. It is meant to cause fear. It is terrorism,” they said.

The House of Representatives will vote on the bill in a symbolic step that will increase pressure on the US administration, which has avoided placing Russia on the list due to Moscow’s trade relations with many states, unlike the four countries currently on the list of sponsoring countries for terrorism: Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Syria.

While Congress is capable to pass a law to include Russia on the terrorist lists, Graham and Blumenthal preferred to introduce a Senate resolution directing the Secretary of State to make the designation.

The two Senators were in Ukraine early this month, where they presented a framed copy of the draft resolution to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat