WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) introduced a Senate resolution affirming that the United States Senate views the actions of the government of the Russian Federation, at the direction of President Vladimir Putin, as sponsoring acts of terrorism, and calls on the Secretary of State to designate the Russian Federation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST).
“Putin is a terrorist, and one of the most disruptive forces on the planet is Putin’s Russia,” said Graham. “Putin’s Russia deserves this designation. We should be all-in on making sure that Putin’s Russia is marginalized as long as they engage in this behavior. This resolution sends a strong message to Ukraine that we are listening and we agree that Putin runs a nation that is a state sponsor of terrorism. We are also letting the Russian people know that our fight is with Putin, and as long as he is your leader, engaging in these activities, you will be isolated on the world stage. I can’t think of a stronger signal at a more crucial time than Congress and the Biden Administration working together to designate Putin’s Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Thank you to my colleague Senator Blumenthal for working with me on this resolution to make sure this moment does not pass.”
“Russia’s horrific inhumanity – including barbaric atrocities and war crimes – have richly earned its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. I am proud to be leading this resolution with Senator Graham, applying stiffer sanctions and recognizing Russia as a true pariah among nations,” said Blumenthal.
The resolution puts the Senate on record as:
- Viewing the actions of the Government of the Russian Federation, at the direction of President Vladimir Putin, as terrorism.
- Calling on the Secretary of State to designate the Russian Federation as an SST.
The SST designation allows additional categories of sanctions to be placed on a country, including restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance, ban on defense exports and sales, certain controls over exports of dual-use items, and financial and other restrictions. If designated, Russia would join a small list of other countries who are designated SSTs: Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria.
Both Ukrainian President Zelensky and the parliament of Ukraine have appealed to Congress to encourage the Department of State to recognize the Russian Federation as an SST. The justification for a Russian SST designation includes:
- Russian combat troops supporting Syria (a designated SST country) in the Syrian Civil War.
- Support of separatists (subnational groups) in the Donbas since 2014.
- Poisoning of political enemies abroad.
- Use of the Wagner Group to achieve foreign policy objectives globally.
The full text of the resolution can be found here.