The European Parliament on Wednesday designated Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, arguing that Moscow’s military attacks on civilian targets such as energy infrastructure, hospitals, schools and shelters violate international law.
European lawmakers voted in favor of a resolution calling Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.
The measure is largely symbolic, since the European Union does not have a legal framework to support it. At the same time, the bloc has already imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has urged the United States and other countries to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, accusing its forces of targeting civilians, which Moscow denies.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has so far refused to include Russia despite resolutions from both houses of Congress urging him to do so.
The US State Department currently names four countries – Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Syria – as state sponsors of terrorism, meaning they are subject to a defense export ban and financial restrictions.
In the EU, the parliaments of four countries have so far designated Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, according to the European Parliament’s Research Service: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland.