State Dept Weighs Designating Russia State Sponsor of Terror

State Dept Weighs Designating Russia State Sponsor of Terror a building is destroyed by russia in kharkiv (Felipe Dana/AP)

By Eric Mack | Monday, 18 April 2022 09:56 PM

The White House has left the State Department with the authority to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terror, and the U.S. might just take that step amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its atrocities against the Ukrainian people.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said it is taking a look at fitting the state sponsor of terror statute with Russia's actions.

"The state sponsor of terrorism [designation] imposes a number of restrictions," Price told MSNBC on Monday night, "those are steps that we've already taken with Russia, with our financial sanctions, with our export control measures, with out curtailments of international assistance and foreign aid, so the practical effect of this may not be more than what meets the name."

The designation has been reserved solely for Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Syria, according to CNN.

"That is a tool that remains in our tool box, and of course we continue to look at all available measures, if you look at the practical implications of what that designation would be, we have pretty much put into place all of those measures already," National Security Council senior adviser Matt Miller told "CNN Tonight" on Monday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently made a direct appeal to President Joe Biden for the United States to designate Russia a "state sponsor of terrorism," The Washington Post reported Friday, citing people familiar with their conversation.

Biden did not commit to specific actions during that call, the newspaper reported.

The label can be applied to any country that has "repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism," according to a State Department fact sheet.