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US President Joe Biden says ‘no’ to designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism | Rest of the World News

On September 5, President of the United States, Joe Biden, advised against designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. Notably, since the start of the conflict, Ukraine has pressed the US and the rest of the world to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.


The US has been forewarned by Moscow not to take any such action, claiming that doing so may even sever diplomatic ties. With reference to war crimes committed in Bucha, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham earlier this year submitted a resolution in the US Senate requesting that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken declare Russia as a state supporter of terrorism.


The non-binding resolution was also looked over by the Committee on Foreign Relations. The fact that the Senate passed it with a unanimous vote shows that both parties in Congress supported the idea. Additionally, it conveys the idea that, if Congress decides that Russia ought to be blacklisted as a state sponsor of terrorism, it may do so without consulting the State Department.


Pelosi acknowledged that the designation was “long overdue”


Representatives Ted Lieu, Joe Wilson, Jared Golden, Adam Kinzinger, and Tom Malinowski submitted a bipartisan bill in July to name Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, taking the US House one step further. At the time, Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House, even acknowledged that the designation was “long overdue.” The plan has overwhelming support in the US House of Representatives, and if it passes, it will be up to US President Joe Biden to decide whether to sign it into law.


However, when asked if Russia should be labelled as a state sponsor of terrorism during a press conference, Biden replied, “No.”


Only four countries are now listed by the US as state sponsors of terrorism; Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria. Given the war crimes perpetrated since the commencement of the conflict in Ukraine, Russia will probably be considered a state sponsor of terrorism. Civilians have also been targeted, as evidenced by the deaths of civilians in Bucha and the bombing of hospitals and residential areas in a number of Ukrainian cities, including the hospital in Mariupol.


Why Biden govt is refraining to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism


Russia may not be listed as a state sponsor of terrorism by the Biden administration because doing so would negatively impact companies that are still doing business there. Since it would limit the potential for future diplomatic engagement with Moscow, such a designation would also result in the complete rupture of diplomatic relations between the two countries.


Along with financial constraints, such a designation would also forbid exports of dual-use goods and defence industrial products. According to the state department, such a designation would just serve to repeat the restrictions already put in place against Russia. Additionally, people could file lawsuits against Russia in US courts.


The US is still divided over the designation issue since it might ruin bilateral ties totally and limit opportunities for future meetings, but detractors also acknowledge that sanctions haven’t succeeded in getting Russia to the negotiating table.


Image: AP

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