US Senators push for designation of Russia as state sponsor of terrorism in new bipartisan bill

On Thursday, June 20, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced a bipartisan bill that seeks to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. Currently, the US lists Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism, holding them accountable under American law for their repeated support of international terrorism acts.

"I look forward to voting on our bill to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism under US law for several reasons. Firstly, this designation will significantly bolster the tools available to the United States to punish Putin for his barbaric behavior in Ukraine and his disruptive actions across Africa and the globe. Putin's Russia is a state sponsor of terrorism, and it is high time we formally recognize this under US law," stated Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal echoed these sentiments, stating that "Russia has earned its place in the club of pariahs—state sponsors of terrorism—by unleashing a brutal campaign of violence and aggression" in Ukraine.

"Putin's unprovoked invasion has been accompanied by countless atrocities and crimes against humanity, bringing horror and death to thousands of innocent civilians. Putin has repeatedly resorted to torture and murder. Designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism will allow the US to more resolutely combat Putin's barbarity and his threat to freedom and democracy," the senator commented.

The bill includes secondary effects such as sanctions for countries cooperating with Russia, expanding the list of dual-use goods banned for export to Russia, and significantly limiting Russia's sovereignty in the eyes of US courts. The designation will also open avenues for lawsuits and other civil claims from victims of terrorism sponsored by Moscow, according to Senator Graham's office press release.

This is not the first attempt by US lawmakers to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. Senators Graham and Blumenthal introduced a similar bill in 2022. However, at that time, President Joe Biden decided not to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.

  Russia, USA