Pelosi pushes to label Russia ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ – Politico — Analysis

The US House Speaker demanded that Secretary of State Blinken assign this designation or Congress would do so first

In a phone call this week, Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the US House of Representatives) asked Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State to designate Russia. “a state sponsor of terrorism,”Politico wrote Wednesday, citing two sources who were familiar with the conversation.

Pelosi reportedly warned America’s top diplomat that if he did not go through with the designation, Congress would do it instead.

The paper stated that Congress gave the State Department sole authority to identify other states as state sponsors. However, there are some legislators who believe that legislation could be passed in order to circumvent this limitation.  

“There’s no legal reason Congress could not pass legislation to effectively designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism,”Politico quoted a Democratic aide as saying the following: “Congress passing legislation is obviously a more complicated route than the secretary making the designation, but it would give the administration the political cover it needs to escalate economic pressure and rhetoric against Putin.”

The label is applied to countries that are not in the list. They can be subject to severe restrictions, such as limits on foreign aid, sales bans, and export controls for dual-use products. 

This label penalizes certain types of trade and punishes countries or individuals who engage in them. If Moscow is listed, Washington might have to significantly expand its sanctions to more sectors of the country’s economy and make it nearly impossible for Americans to have any dealings with Russia, Politico pointed out.

At the moment, four countries are on the US’s list. “state sponsors of terrorism”Cuba, North Korea and Iran, as well as Syria. But none of these nations trade with the outside world at the same rate as Russia. This, according to some experts, is why Washington has not applied the label.

Ned Price, spokesperson for the State Department, told reporters in April that the Biden administration is looking at possible steps against Moscow. “the sanctions we have in place and have taken [against Russia] are the same steps that would be entailed by the designation of a state sponsor of terrorism.”

Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson for the Kremlin, commented on Thursday’s Politico article. “very negatively assesses the consequences for relations with Washington if the US Congress recognizes the Russian Federation as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism.’” He added though that it’s difficult to do anything that could damage the already tarnished relations between the two nations even further. 

Macron refuses to designate Russia ‘sponsor of terrorism’

Last month, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky urged French leader Emmanuel Macron to designate Russia as a ‘sponsor of terrorism.’ Macron, however, refused to do so, arguing that his country did not need any judicial definitions to sanction Moscow. 

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. These protocols were originally signed by France and Germany through intermediaries. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

In February 2022 the Kremlin acknowledged the Donbass republics to be independent states. They demanded Ukraine declare its neutrality and refuse any Western military alliances. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked.

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