Senators unveil bill deeming Russia state sponsor of terrorism

Senator Graham and Blumenthal
Senator Graham and Blumenthal Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic and Republican senators on Wednesday unveiled a bill that would designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, Reuters reports.

"The need for this measure is more pressing now than ever before," sponsor Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said of the bill, which co-sponsor Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) meanwhile praised as a way of showing support for Ukraine. The South Carolina Republican also noted how the legislation would permit the U.S. to impose "stiff penalties" on Russia, like allowing it to be sued in U.S. courts for activity in its war, Reuters writes.

Unlike Ukraine, President Biden isn't a fan of the state sponsor designation, which he and administration officials believe is relatively uneffective and could hinder the U.S.' ability to provide Kyiv with humanitarian aid. Meanwhile, Moscow has said that diplomatic ties would be damaged or severed entirely if Russia were added to the State Sponsor of Terrorism list, which also includes North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Cuba.

It is not clear when the bill might go up for a vote — but Blumenthal and Graham have been in support of such a designation for months, Reuters notes.

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