The European Parliament on Wednesday passed a resolution recognizing Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” and accusing its forces of committing atrocities during its invasion of Ukraine.
The EU lawmakers’ decision is a symbolic political step without legal consequences, but MEPs urged the governments of all 27 EU countries to follow their example.
“The deliberate attacks and atrocities committed by the Russian Federation against the civilian population of Ukraine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and other serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law constitute acts of terror,” he said. said the resolution approved by EU lawmakers.
The parliament said it “recognizes Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and as a state that uses means of terrorism.”
Kyiv has called on the international community to declare Russia a “terrorist state” following its invasion of the country, and the Strasbourg parliament’s decision is likely to irritate Moscow.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed Wednesday’s vote.
“Russia must be isolated at all levels and held accountable in order to end its longstanding policy of terrorism in Ukraine and around the world,” he said in a social media post.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reacted simply by writing on Telegram: “I propose to recognize the European Parliament as the sponsor of idiocy.”
Other pro-Kremlin Russian media have been at pains to point out that the resolution has no legal effect. The European Union – unlike the United States – does not have a legal framework for designating countries as “state sponsors of terrorism”.
Washington has so far avoided putting Russia on its list of state sponsors of terrorism, a move that would trigger new sanctions and lift the immunity the United States currently grants to Russian officials.
The resolution, backed by 494 MEPs and opposed by 58, calls on Brussels to put in place the “legal framework” to add Russia to the EU’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.
“We called a spade a spade. Russia is not just a state that supports terrorism, but the state that uses the means of terrorism,” said Lithuanian MEP Andrius Kubilius, who led the push for the resolution.
“The recognition of this fact by the European Parliament sends a clear political signal. Europe, Europeans do not want to remain passive, when their big neighbor violates all humanitarian and international standards.”
The European Parliament resolution also urged the EU to include the Wagner mercenary group and troops loyal to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on the bloc’s sanctions list of “terrorist” organisations.
AFP contributed reporting
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