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Senate Bill Introduced to Designate Russia a State Sponsor of Terrorism

U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) speak during an interview with Reuters, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine July 7, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo
U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) speak during an interview with Reuters, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine July 7, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo

Democratic and Republican U.S. senators introduced legislation on Wednesday that would designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, a label pushed for by Ukraine but opposed by President Joe Biden’s administration.

“The need for this measure is more pressing now than ever before,” Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, one of the bill’s sponsors, told a news conference, citing the killings of civilians and other “brutal, cruel oppression” in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, another bill sponsor, said the designation would send a strong signal of support for Ukraine to Kyiv but also to U.S. allies, while imposing stiff penalties on Russia like allowing it to be sued in U.S. courts for its actions in Ukraine and tightening sanctions.

It was not immediately clear when or whether the measure might come up for a vote. But the two senators have been advocating for the designation for months, visiting Kyiv in July to promote it.

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