The Senate on Wednesday passed a non-binding resolution that calls for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to designate Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism.”
The resolution passed by unanimous voice vote as there is a strong bipartisan consensus to add Russia to the list. A similar resolution has been introduced in the House, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has been pressuring Blinken to make the designation.
As secretary of state, Blinken has the authority to designate a country as a terror sponsor. Currently, only Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria are on the list, which expands sanctions against the targeted nation.
Since the US has already slapped so many sanctions on Russia, the designation would have little impact on Moscow. But the designation would symbolize the fact that US-Russia relations will not be repaired for years to come, as the terror sponsor designation would be difficult for a future administration to remove.
Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are major proponents of adding Russia to the terror sponsor list and repeated their call for the Biden administration to do so on Thursday.
Graham and Blumenthal visited Kyiv earlier in July and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss designating Russia. While in Kyiv, the senators said they hoped to see a “hand-to-hand insurgency” in areas of Russian-controlled Ukraine.