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EU Designates Russia A State Sponsor of Terrorism

    EU Designates Russia A State Sponsor of Terrorism
    Last updated: 1 week ago
    Image credit: AP [via Al Jazeera]

    Facts

    • In a vote of 494 to 58, with 44 abstentions, the European Parliament on Wednesday approved a resolution declaring Russia a "state sponsor of terrorism," citing alleged "brutal and inhumane" acts inflicted upon Ukraine and its citizens. [1]
    • The vote is mainly symbolic as the EU doesn't have legal enforcement mechanisms to back it up, though it has already imposed unprecedented sanctions on Moscow. [2]
    • According to the resolution: "The deliberate attacks and atrocities carried out by the Russian Federation against the civilian population of Ukraine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and other serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law amount to acts of terror." [3]
    • The resolution called for developing the legal frameworks needed to enforce its declaration, stripping Russia of its membership in international organizations, reducing diplomatic ties to the bare minimum, and issuing a ninth sanctions package. [4]
    • NATO and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have already adopted similar non-binding resolutions, along with individual states Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic. [5]
    • Meanwhile, the US, which has anti-terrorism enforcement powers, has yet to adopt such a resolution. [3]
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    Spin

    Pro-Russia narrative

    Even the anti-Russia US state department understands the bogus nature of this declaration. Though the US has assisted Ukraine immensely in its fight against Russia, it's smart enough to steer clear of any "terrorist" declarations that would risk bringing its armed forces into the fight. This is just another cowardly attempt by Western states to justify their coercive measures against Russia.

    Anti-Russia narrative

    Russian tactics are clearly aimed at spreading maximum terror. While some minor states and international governing bodies have already formally recognized this, it's time for the leading Western powers — particularly the EU and US — to follow suit. This resolution is a good first step that will enable even more severe economic sanctions, as well as for Russian war criminals to be tried in the international court. Putin is only pressing harder, and it's time the entirety of the West match his efforts.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    While the horrors of Russian war crimes must not be minimized, Ukraine isn't free of blame either. In addition to facing their own allegations of war crimes against Russian soldiers and prisoners of war, Amnesty International has documented numerous instances of Ukrainian forces deploying fighting tactics that endanger civilians in violation of international humanitarian law, including by establishing bases in and operating weapon systems from hospitals and schools. All sides must be held accountable for their actions.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 15% chance that Ukraine will receive a security guarantee from another country before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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