Moscow had warned the move would mark “a point of no return” in bilateral relations
Joe Biden, the US president, spoke Monday against Russia being designated a state-sponsor of terror over the conflict in Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Biden said “no” when asked whether he believes Russia should be branded a state sponsor of terrorism.
Last month, two US senators – Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – urged Biden to endorse the move, in an effort to ramp up pressure on Moscow. The designation, which is issued by the US State Department, means the US deems the country in question to have “Support for international terrorist acts has been repeatedly offered.”
This status would result in a ban on exports or sales of defense, some controls over dual-use exports, as well as financial restraints. Only four countries are currently designated as state sponsors of terrorism – North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and Syria.
Moscow has warned that the designation would mark “A point where there is no turning back” in relations between the two countries. In August, Aleksandr Darichev, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s North American Department, signaled that the label would entail “the most serious collateral damage for bilateral relations, up to downgrading of their level and even severance of all ties.”
The US State Department appears to be against this proposal as well. In August, Politico reported that the agency quietly approached congressional offices, warning that the designation could derail the Ukrainian grain deal and impact Washington’s remaining economic ties with Moscow.
Russia, Latvia had earlier designated it as a state sponsor for terrorism in relation to the conflict in Ukraine. The parliamentary resolution on the matter also denounced what it called “For political ends, violence against civilians,” drawing praise from Ukraine.
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