Two United States senators, Democrat Richard Blumenthal and Republican Lindsey Graham, introduced on Wednesday (14) a bill that aims to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, a label that the White House opposes.
This designation, Graham pointed out at a news conference, would send a strong signal of support for Ukraine, both to Kiev and to other allies.
Currently, only four countries are labeled by the United States as sponsors of terrorism: Cuba since January 2021, North Korea since November
, Iran since January 1984 and Syria since December 1979.
“We believe that Russia has done more than than enough to be in that group of pariahs,” added Blumenthal.
From this designation derive sanctions such as restrictions on US aid, a ban on the sale and export of Defense material, and certain financial restrictions, among others. .
T Both Blumenthal and Graham have been trying for months to get the US to recognize Russia as such. In June, on a trip to Ukraine, where they met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, they insisted on this and asked US President Joe Biden to send more humanitarian aid to the country.
Zelensky asked the West to declare Russia a sponsoring state of terrorism, and the Russian government warned the US on August 2 that this would break diplomatic relations.
The White House, in turn, is not in favor of taking this step. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said earlier this month that this is not the most effective measure for Russia to take responsibility for its actions.
The Senate had already unanimously approved the late July a non-binding resolution asking US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to recognize Russia’s interventions in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria and Ukraine, which in his opinion resulted in the deaths of “countless men, women and children”. .
That same month, five members of the House of Representatives, Democrats and Republicans, also introduced a bill similar to the one introduced in the Senate this Wednesday, thus intensifying the pressure against Biden on several fronts. .
The Blumenthal-Graham bill provides some flexibility to the Biden administration, giving the president the power to remove that label if he demonstrates to Congress that Russia no longer supports acts of international terrorism and that removing this designates tion is in the interest of the US.
However, approval of this type of regulation is not assured. In the House of Representatives, its president, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, has not yet pushed it forward, while the Senate agenda is filled in the short term with other legislative battles.