The US Government Could Label Russia a State Sponsor of Terrorism

Earlier this month, several Republican Senators introduced legislation to supply additional military aid to Ukraine, planning to classify Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” should Moscow track its neighbor.

According to a report by Russia Today, eight Republican Senators introduced the bill on December 15, 2021. The bill is named the GUARD Act, which is short for Guaranteeing Ukraine’s Autonomy by Reinforcing its Defense. 

This bill features a range of measures with the aim of backing Kiev, which includes granting $450 million in foreign military financing in 2022 and vowing to designate Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” in the case that Russia engages aggressive behavior. 

Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, one of the Senators introducing the bill, asserted that Russian President Vladimir Putin “is attempting to dominate and control Ukraine.” The senator stated, “we cannot let this bold and dangerous behavior go unchecked. The United States and our allies must do more to deter Russia by increasing the costs of its aggression.”

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In addition, the bill features sanctions against Nord Stream 2, the controversial pipeline project that will transport Russian gas to Europe via the Baltic Sea. 

Ukraine is expected to lose billions of dollars in gas transit fees and believes that the project poses a major security challenge. However, European leaders said that the pipeline will go online as soon as it clears bureaucratic hoops, despite the protests from Washington and Kiev. 

In the past few weeks, Ukraine and the US have blamed Moscow for “aggressive actions,” which includes a troop buildup on the border with Ukraine. This move led most Western leaders to believe that Russia was ready to invade Ukraine. 

The Russian government has frequently denied these accusations by calling attention to how its troops have stayed in Russian territory. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asserted that Western accusations and promises to militarily support Ukraine are dangerous due to the fact that they could incentivize Ukraine to take bellicose action in the country’s embattled Donbass region. 

Overall, if the U.S. ends up labeling Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, it will further accelerate Russia’s move towards aligning itself with China. NATO expansion alone has already brought Russia and China together.

An incendiary move like labeling Russia a state sponsor of terror will further accelerate this rapprochement between the two aforementioned countries and may actually turn the China-Russia strategic partnership into a full-fledged alliance.