On July 27, 2022, the United States Senate passed a resolution urging the State Department to classify Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
The document calls attention to Russia’s military operations over the past 30 years in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria and Ukraine as the principal reason for designating Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.
Russian state news agency TASS reported that this resolution was submitted on May 9. It was first filed by South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham.
Ukraine has actively pushed the US to put Russia on the state sponsor of terrorism list. Members of the US Congress have also called for making this move.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova had harsh words for the US government over its “idiotic” move to label Russia a sponsor of terrorism. She warned that this state sponsor of terror designation will be met with a firm response from the Russian state.
“All these measures that they are going to undertake, even such an idiotic one, will be expanded and continued. Certainly, we <…> are not going to leave anything unanswered and they must comprehend this,” she stated.
The US government uses the “state sponsor of terrorism” label for countries that have allegedly “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.”
By slapping this designation on countries, the US government then has the power to impose broad-based sanctions against countries on this list. The US Department of Treasury has the power to take punitive actions against entities and individuals on this list, on top of states that trade with countries that have received the state sponsor of terrorism designation.
Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria are currently classified as state sponsors of terror.
Should the US government follow through with this designation, tensions will only escalate between it and Russia.
The irony here is that the US has a long track record of funding Islamist militants in regions such as Afghanistan, Chechnya, Syria, and Xinjiang.
If the US had any sense, it would take the L with regards to the Russo-Ukrainian conflict and begin withdrawing from NATO. Its geopolitical priorities should be focused on its southern border and maintaining stability in the Western Hemisphere.