'State sponsor of terrorism' label part of Russophobia: Diplomat
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister says attempts at accusing Russia of "state terrorism" existed long before the start of the war in Ukraine.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov considered on Friday that the European Parliament’s resolution on recognizing Russia as "a state sponsor of terrorism" is part of the anti-Russian campaign and does not represent the real situation.
Syromolotov indicated that "this unfriendly step is part of the West’s information and political campaign against our country and has nothing to do with the real situation in the area of combating international terrorism," stressing that "Russia has always been a responsible participant in anti-terrorist activities."
"If certain countries or the European Parliament want to find real terrorists, we suggest they look more closely at and consider more thoroughly what has recently happened in the Baltic and Black Sea rather than take part in a parade of dummy resolutions," the Deputy Foreign Minister pointed out.
The Russian diplomat recalled that Russia has "repeatedly called on the world community to pool efforts in this sphere, including in the 1990s, when it was conducting a counterterrorist operation in the North Caucasus."
"But it was the West who sponsored the criminals who were active in our country back then. It received them, supplied them with weapons and munitions, concurrently feeding a propaganda campaign about alleged violation of human rights in our country," he emphasized.
Accusing Russia of "state terrorism" existed before Ukraine war
Syromolotov noted that attempts at accusing Russia of "state terrorism" existed long before the start of the war in Ukraine, suggesting that Kiev initiated such rhetoric.
According to Syromolotov, the West labels its rivals with such words in order to legitimize its unilateral restrictions, pointing out that Russia has always rejected this label that is frequently used by some countries to justify their interference in the internal affairs of other states, which violates the UN Charter.
The Russian diplomat made clear that Moscow will not align itself with those who violate international law and will not recognize Ukraine as a terrorist state, despite the Kiev regime committing flagrant violations during the ongoing war, including terror attacks on civilian infrastructure, shelling attacks on dwelling quarters, and extrajudicial executions of Russian prisoners of war.
"Otherwise, our assessment of the conduct of unfriendly states in categories of anti-terrorist efforts would be pseudo-symmetric and legally flawed, which would mean that we are taking the lead from our opponents, thoughtlessly copying their terminology, which we ourselves consistently criticize," he explained.
In a symbolic move for the lack of legal framework, the EU Parliament decided on November 23 to declare Russia as a "state sponsor of terrorism" over the war in Ukraine, with 494 votes in favor, 58 against, and 44 abstentions.
The European Parliament called on the European Union and its member countries to develop a legal basis to draw up a list of "state sponsors of terrorism" and include Russia on that list.
It is noteworthy that on October 6, the EU put into force the eighth package of anti-Russian sanctions, which includes both new economic restrictions and expanded lists of personal sanctions.
Read more: Putin: Russia not fighting Ukrainians but those exploiting them