U.S. Calling Russia ‘State Sponsor of Terrorism’ Would Sever Diplomatic Ties

The Russian Foreign Ministry declared on Tuesday that if the United States classified Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism,” there would be a severing of diplomatic ties between the two nations, The Jerusalem Post reports.

“Make no mistake, if Washington decides to suspend its ties with Moscow, we can live with it,” the Russian Foreign Ministry responded on Twitter. The US Senate recently passed a non-binding resolution requesting Secretary of State Antony Blinken to put Russia to a list of countries that support terrorism. The secretary of state determines which nations are included in the list.

According to Russian official media source TASS, Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, stated at a briefing on Tuesday that the designation would lead to the termination of diplomatic ties.

“Washington runs the risk of finally crossing the point of no return with all the ensuing consequences,” Zakharova said, reported TASS.

Sens. Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal of the United States of America presented the bipartisan resolution designating Russia as a supporter of terrorism, and it was approved on Thursday.

The designation is being resisted by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, according to a Friday New York Times article. Politico reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned Blinken that Congress would act if he didn’t. Similar legislation like that passed in the Senate is expected to be introduced by a bipartisan House caucus.

Volodymyr Zelensky, president of Ukraine, stated on Friday that there should be a legal acknowledgment that Russia is a state supporter of terrorism in light of the deaths of several inmates in jail under Russian authority. The United States should identify Russia as a state supporter of terrorism, according to a measure that the Ukrainian parliament passed in May.

“I am appealing especially to the United States of America. A decision is needed, and it is needed now,” Zelensky said in a Friday video address, according to Reuters.

When a nation is designated as a state sponsor of terrorism and is found to have “repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism,” the US restricts its access to foreign aid, bans it from sales of defense and exports, implements controls on dual-use goods, and imposes other financial sanctions.

On the list of state sponsors of terrorism, only Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria are currently listed.

The contentious Ukrainian Azov Battalion was labeled a terrorist group on Tuesday by the Supreme Court of Russia.