Biden Issues “Final Decision” On State Sponsor Of Terror Label For Russia
President Joe Biden has made up his mind regarding whether or not to designate Russia an official ‘state sponsor of terror’ – after both the Ukrainian government as well as some prominent Democratic Congressmembers have been pushing hard for him to do so.
Biden has “made a final decision against designating Russia as a state sponsor of terror,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday, according to Reuters. She described that “The designation of Russia as state sponsor of terror could delay food exports and jeopardize deals to move goods through the Black Sea,” according to a press readout.
The reference wis to a delicate UN-brokered agreement between Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey to allow grain exports to leave Ukrainian ports through a monitored ‘safety corridor’.
Jean-Pierre was following up on a comment made by Biden the day prior:
U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday said Russia should not be designated a state sponsor of terrorism, a label Ukraine has pushed for amid Russia’s ongoing invasion while Moscow has warned it would rupture U.S.-Russian ties.
Asked if Russia should be designated a state sponsor of terrorism, Biden told reporters at the White House: “No.”
In July, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the White House must designate Russia or else Congress would do it. The formal designation would allow the further expansion of sanctions on the targeted nation, and would place Russia on the list with Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria.
While some countries like Latvia and Lithuania have already made the formal designation, the US administration has consistently resisted calls to do so, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently arguing that a terror designation wouldn’t change things much:
“The costs that have been imposed on Russia by us and by other countries are absolutely in line with the consequences that would follow from designation as a state sponsor of terrorism,” he said in July.
Earlier in the now six-month Ukraine conflict, the Biden administration began using the word “genocide” when talking about alleged Russian atrocities (but more recently has stopped using the specific word), but has so far resisted some Congressional calls to label Russia a terror state sponsor.
Moscow is mainly the same as it was. Most people are carrying on as normal, and for the most part, change is barely noticeable. However, prices of certain things have skyrocketed (restaurants, clothes, travel), and there are signs things may get worse.
— Jonny Tickle (@jonnytickle) September 6, 2022
Moscow has previously warned that if the US went through with a terror label designation, it would immediately sever all diplomatic relations. While relations are already of course at a low point in recent history due to the ongoing Ukraine invasion, each side still has their embassies open and diplomats in residence – though John Sullivan, the US ambassador to Moscow, has announced his retirement this week after nearly three years at the post.
Tue, 09/06/2022 – 18:40