Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (R) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) (L) speak at a news conference on Sept. 14, 2022, in Washington, DC. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced a bill Wednesday that would designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Why it matters: The designation is intended to curtail defense and technology exports to Russia and to reduce foreign assistance, according to a news release from Graham's office.
- Additionally, it seeks to eliminate the country's sovereign immunity in the eyes of U.S. courts, "opening Russia's government to lawsuits and other civil claims from the families of victims of its state-sponsored terrorism."
Context: Ukraine has pushed for the designation, although President Biden's administration has opposed it, per Reuters.
- Still, Biden has said that Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine.
What they're saying: "Putin has crossed every line of civilized norms during the war in Ukraine and years before," Graham said.
- “Ukrainians have been asking for this designation, and we are listening. This will be a game changer in how we deal with terrorists worldwide.”
- "What has been revealed in Ukraine’s success on the battlefield is not only its military prowess and Russia’s weakness, but also Putin’s reliance on brutal atrocities, genocide, and war crimes against the people of Ukraine," Blumenthal said, adding that the country should be "among the club of pariah nations.”
Of note: In May, Lithuania became the first country to designate Russia as a sponsor and executor of terrorism, recognizing its actions in Ukraine as genocide.
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