Asked by a reporter on Monday if he would add Russia to a “blacklist” of terrorist states, Mr. Biden answered with a simple “No.” For months before that, high-ranking officials had been smooth-talking about the issue.
Asked Tuesday if a decision had already been made, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said terrorist designation was “not the most effective or the strongest way forward” to hold Russia accountable for its actions.
According to K. Jean-Pierre, such a definition would hinder the delivery of aid to some parts of war-torn Ukraine, would not allow aid groups and companies to participate in the agreement supported by the United Nations and Turkey on the export of much-needed grain from blocked Ukrainian ports.
“It would also undermine our unprecedented multilateralism.” [koaliciją]very effectively demanding [Rusijos prezidento Vladimiro] Putin’s responsibilities could also undermine our ability to support Ukraine” in the negotiations, the spokeswoman for the Whites told reporters.
The label attributed to the US as a “state sponsor of terrorism” has far-reaching consequences, so many companies and banks do not want to risk legal action by American prosecutors.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on the West to formally recognize Russia as a terrorist state after a series of Russian attacks that claimed civilian lives, including a June attack on a shopping center in Kremenchuk that killed at least 18 people.
In August, Latvia’s parliament declared Russia a state sponsor of terrorism and called its actions in Ukraine a “deliberate genocide of the Ukrainian nation.”
However, French President Emmanuel Macron in June unequivocally rejected the possibility of classifying Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
US lawmakers from both major parties, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have urged Mr Biden to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism as a way to ratchet up the pressure.
The United States considers only four countries to be state sponsors of terrorism: Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Cuba. All of their economies are much smaller than Russia’s.
The designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism is controversial. The country was put back on the “blacklist” in the last days of the administration of the previous president, Donald Trump.