The US has announced it is looking at plans to label Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.
A Monday night, April 18, report by CNN quotes a senior administration official saying US State Department officials are looking at every tool available to them to hold Russia accountable for the war in Ukraine, including the possibility of labeling Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.
The officials added that the process could take weeks before a determination is made.
The definition of a state sponsor of terrorism is a country that has “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism,” according to the State Department. There are only four countries that are currently labeled state sponsors of terrorism by the US: North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Syria.
“We’re taking a close look at the facts. We’re taking a close look at the law,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price on CNN Monday when asked about the possibility of designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
“Whether it is this authority, whether it’s any other authority available to us under the law, we will apply it if it’s effective and appropriate.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky revealed on Monday he has asked US President Biden in one of their recent phone conversations to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.
The US adding Russia to the list would be a symbolic move that would also inflict an even greater cost on Russia’s economy.
Labelling Russia a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ would lead to actions such as prohibiting Russia from buying certain items that can be used for commercial or militarily purposes, and sanctions on other people, organizations and countries still engaged in trade with Russia.