Topline

Sens. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced a resolution Tuesday that would call on the Biden Administration to list Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, following calls from members of Ukraine’s parliament and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to add Russia to the list.

Key Facts

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The resolution would ask Secretary of State Antony Blinken to make the designation, citing actions taken during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and incidents where Russia supported fighters in Syria and Chechnya prior to the invasion—though Blinken is not required to name Russia to the state sponsors of terror list if the resolution is passed.

When a country is designated as a state sponsor of terrorism, it faces a suspension of US assistance, embargoes on military weapons, trade restrictions and other sanctions, according to to the State Department, though Russia has already been penalized with some of these measures.

Blumenthal called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “thug” and a “bully” during a press conference Tuesday, and said Putin will continue to threaten Europe and the world “unless he is stopped,” while Graham said the resolution is designed to “bolster the Ukrainians’ ability to fight for their freedom” and “delegitimize Putin.”

Members of Ukrainian parliament Voted last week to urge the US to recognize Russia as a terror sponsor, citing atrocities committed in Bucha, Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities, while Zelensky asked President Joe Biden to name Russia last month.