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European Parliament declares Russia state sponsor of terrorism

On November 23, the European Parliament adopted a resolution recognizing Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. 494 deputies (out of 705) supported the resolution, and 58 deputies voted against it, according to a press release from the European Parliament.

MEPs highlight that the deliberate attacks and atrocities committed by Russian forces and their proxies against civilians in Ukraine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and other serious violations of international and humanitarian law amount to acts of terror and constitute war crimes. In light of this, they recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and as a state that “uses means of terrorism”.

The press release notes that the European Union itself cannot legally recognize states as sponsors of terrorism, so the European Parliament called on the EU and its members to create an appropriate legal framework. “This would trigger a number of significant restrictive measures against Moscow and have profound restrictive implications for EU relations with Russia,” it said.

MEPs also called on the Council to list, “the Russian paramilitary organization ‘the Wagner Group’, the 141st Special Motorized Regiment, also known as the “Kadyrovites”, and other Russian-funded armed groups, militias, and proxies, on the EU’s terrorist list.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that he welcomed the decision.

Earlier, the parliaments of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, and the Czech Republic in one form or another declared Russia a state that supports terrorism. PACE and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly called on other countries to do the same. U.S. authorities have thus far refused to include Russia on its list of state sponsors of terrorism.

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