The US may name Russia a state sponsor of terrorism This is a new level of the deterioration of relations. If this is done, the relations will be damaged even further.
On December 11th, the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is to consider a bill that could potentially designate Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism.”
The bill was proposed by Republican Senator Cory Gardner on April 11th, 2019.
If it is approved and pushed forward by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, “S. 1189: Stopping Malign Activities from Russian Terrorism Act” needs to be voted in the US Senate, and House of Representatives.
If it passes those steps, it needs to be signed into law by US President Donald Trump.
If all that takes place, then the bill would enforce the following:
“To require the Secretary of State to determine whether the Russian Federation should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism and whether Russian-sponsored armed entities in Ukraine should be designated as foreign terrorist organizations.”
The term “state sponsor of terrorism” means a country, which the US Secretary of State has determined has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.
If the bill passes, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, currently, would have 90 days to submit a determination on whether Russia fits the profile of such a designation.
In addition to this, another designation would be that of the “Russian-supported armed forces in the Donbas region of Ukraine as foreign terrorist organizations.”
“Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a determination to the appropriate congressional committees that indicates whether armed entities that are physically present in the Donbas region of Ukraine and are controlled or aided by the Russian Federation, or armed entities that are associated or controlled by the “Donetsk People’s Republic” or the “Lugansk People’s Republic”, meet the criteria to be designated as foreign terrorist organizations”
This is a new level of deterioration of relations between Moscow and Washington and would further exacerbate not only relations on a global scale, but designating the military personnel of the DPR and LPR might lead to severe escalations in Eastern Ukraine.
Separately, on October 30th, US Senator Ted Cruz proposed legislation for the US to unilaterally withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, because there was no way of knowing that Russia was “abiding by their international military commitments and agreements.”
Senator Ted Cruz claims that the US is on the losing end, mostly because Russia claims South Ossetia and Abkhazia are independent, but the US doesn’t believe that, thus they must be hiding something there, since the Open Skies Treaty bans flights within 10 miles from a national border.
At the same time, a 2016 State Department review found that the U.S. had conducted 196 reconnaissance flights over Russia by that point, more than twice the 71 reconnaissance flights Russia had conducted over the U.S.
If both or either of these bills were to pass and were put into law, this risks deteriorating relations even further between Moscow and Washington.
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