NewsUS senators propose bill to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism

US senators propose bill to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism

Russia a state supporting terrorism? There is a bill
Russia a state supporting terrorism? There is a bill
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Violetta Baran

21 June 2024 09:03

Two American senators, following Putin's visit to North Korea, have prepared a bill declaring that Russia is a state sponsoring terrorism. According to them, passing such a bill would blow the Russian economy.

On Thursday, senators from both major political parties in the United States—Democrat Richard Blumenthal and Republican Lindsey Graham—jointly presented a bill aiming to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. In their view, passing such a bill would severely affect the Russian economy, imposing a significant burden.

During the press conference at which the bill was presented, both senators emphasised that its passage would have far-reaching implications. Among these, they mentioned secondary sanctions for countries maintaining close economic relations with Russia and an expansion of the list of goods whose exports to Russia would be prohibited. Furthermore, the bill would pave the way for victims of Russian aggression to file claims against Russia in American courts.

Senator Graham stressed that passing the bill would "change the momentum in Ukraine overnight."

"It would be a morale boost to the Ukrainians. It would make it hard for anybody to do business with Russia, and it would further isolate this regime," he said. According to him, the motivation for submitting the bill was the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin to sign a defence pact with North Korea, a country already officially recognised by the USA as a state sponsor of terrorism.

"What else needs to be done?"

Senator Graham described that not only has Russia signed a defence agreement with North Korea, but they may also provide expert knowledge to help them expand their nuclear arsenal.

The same senators had already submitted a similar bill in 2022 but in the form of a non-binding resolution. This time, however, they decided to submit a formal bill that would require the State Department to place Russia on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Four countries are on this list: Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Cuba.

When asked when the Senate could begin work on the bill, Senators Blumenthal and Graham replied that they hoped it would happen "sooner rather than later." So far, the U.S. administration has resisted Congress's pressure on this matter, arguing that placing Russia on this list could lead to undesirable consequences, such as difficulties for humanitarian organisations trying to deliver aid to Ukraine. Nevertheless, many politicians from both parties, including former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, support such a move.

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