US looking into designating Russia as "state sponsor of terrorism"
The US state department is "taking a close look" into designating Russia as a "state sponsor of terrorism".
Officials at the US State Department are looking into the possibility of placing Russia on the list of "state sponsors of terrorism", State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told CNN.
Price said the US is considering the decision's legal aspects and will follow the required procedure if the designation is appropriate.
"We're taking a close look at the facts. We're taking a close look at the law. Whether it is this authority, whether it's any other authority available to us under the law, we will apply it if it's effective and appropriate," he said.
The Washington Post reported Friday that Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke by telephone with US President Joe Biden and urged him to designate and sanction Russia as a "state sponsor of terrorism."
According to the newspaper, Zelensky made a direct appeal to Biden to designate Russia as a "state sponsor of terrorism" - a designation that allows imposing some of the most significant sanctions at the US disposal.
The United States did not sanction the Soviet Union under such designation despite Moscow’s support in the 1970s and 1980s for groups that could be considered "terrorist actors", the report said.
When asked about the possible designation, White House Spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that a state sponsor of terrorism would have to have "repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism".
She added that the designation would have to be made by the State Department, and that this decision is made after "a careful review", but that in terms of the impact of such a decision, the US has already taken a lot of steps in terms sanctioning Russia.