Senators announce bipartisan effort to designate Russia as state terrorism sponsor

The White House has warned that designating Russia as a state terrorism sponsor could harm humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Updated: September 15, 2022 - 12:06pm

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The Senate is working on a bipartisan effort to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.

The effort was announced Wednesday and is being led by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democrat Sen. Richard Blumenthal. 

The "Russia is a State Sponsor of Terrorism Act" attempts to crackdown on the Kremlin beyond existing sanctions including those for its invasion in February of Ukraine, said Blumenthal, of New York.

Blumenthal is reportedly at odds with the Biden administration's position that designating Russia as a state terrorism sponsor could harm humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.

The bill would add the Russian Federation to the list of "State Sponsors of Terrorism," which includes Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria.

similar bipartisan resolution was introduced in the House in July but has so far made little progress.

The designation would curtail technology and defense exports to Russia, reduce foreign aid, impose additional financial restrictions and eliminate the country's sovereign immunity in U.S. courts, opening the Kremlin up to lawsuits and civil claims, said Graham, who previously called for someone to take out Russian President Vladimir Putin.