US lawmakers want Russia labeled sponsor of terrorism — Analysis

On Wednesday, the Senate unanimously approved a non-binding resolution asking US Secretary Antony Blinken not to declare Russia a sponsor terrorist. 

According to the bill, introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Moscow deserves this label for its actions in Russia’s Chechnya, as well as Georgia, Syria, and Ukraine, resulting “in the deaths of countless innocent men, women and children.”

Russian forces are accused by the bill of committing war crimes and trying to cover them up during Ukraine’s ongoing military operation. The bill echos the talking points that President Vladimir Zelensky has made over the past months. Moscow consistently denied these accusations, accusing US-backed Kiev forces mercenaries and militias of targeting civilians.

Graham and Blumenthal met with Zelensky in Kiev to promote Russia’s designation as a terrorist sponsor. Ukrainian President “thanked the senators for this important activity,”His office stated.

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Sergey Tsekov (a Russian Federation Council member of the foreign Affairs Committee) reacted against the US Senators’ move insisting on Russia’s always been an a “protector country”That fights terrorists.

American “efforts to turn Russia into a pariah-state have failed and because of this blunder they came up with a new idea that Russia is a sponsor of terrorism,”Tsekov stated.

A similar bill has been introduced in the US House of Representatives, where it’s strongly supported by speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Politico reported last week that Pelosi had warned Blinken that if he doesn’t designate Russia a sponsor of terrorism, the Congress will do it itself through passing the relevant legislation.

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Russia is being placed on the same sanctions list as North Korea, Iran and Cuba. This would allow them to exert more pressure on Russia by imposing additional restrictions on its economy.

Ned Price, spokesperson for the State Department in April, argued that “the sanctions [against Russia] we have in place and have taken are the same steps that would be entailed by the designation of a state sponsor of terrorism.”

Price spoke on Tuesday about the same subject and pointed out the State Department is responsible for taking measures. “the criteria that Congress has written into law”Concerning the status of Russia as a sponsor for terrorism “to compare that to the facts on the ground.”He added that it is something the agency had been doing in recent times.

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