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European Parliament declares Russia “state sponsor of terrorism”

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy welcomes the designation, a move Washington has so far resisted.

The European Parliament has declared Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism”, saying Moscow’s “deliberate attacks and atrocities” in Ukraine violate human rights and international humanitarian law.

EU lawmakers passed the resolution on Wednesday with 494 members voted for, 58 against and 44 abstained.

“The deliberate attacks and atrocities committed by the Russian Federation against the Ukrainian civilian population, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and other serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law constitute acts of terror”, indicates the resolution.

However, this decision is largely symbolic because the European Union has no legal framework to support it.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the vote, saying, “Russia must be isolated at all levels and held accountable.”

Zelenskyy urged the United States and other countries to follow suit as he accused Moscow of targeting civilians, an allegation Russia denies.

The EU, US and UK have already imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia for its war in Ukraine.

But US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has so far refused to put Russia on a “terrorism” list despite resolutions from both houses of Congress urging him to do so.

Currently, the US State Department considers Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria to be “State Sponsors of Terrorism,” meaning they are subject to a defense export ban and financial restrictions.

Four EU members – Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland – have so far designated Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism”, according to the European Parliamentary Research Service.

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