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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Politics

Blumenthal, Graham introduce bill making Russia state sponsor of terrorism

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., introduced a bill that would require the Biden administration to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terror. It is the duo’s second attempt at pushing this through Congress. The senators first tried in May 2022 with a resolution that urged the secretary of state to make the designation but did not mandate it.

“Russia deserves to be in this small, selective club of atrocity committing killers,” Blumenthal said.

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The senators raised the stakes in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to North Korea. On that trip, Putin signed a military defense agreement with the country’s dictator Kim Jong Un. 

​​”Signing a military partnership hostile to the United States, hostile to peace and liberty and justice around the world,” Blumenthal said, explaining why he believes the measure is so urgent.

If signed into law, the bill would restrict Russia’s sovereign immunity in the U.S. court system and increase penalties for evading sanctions. Countries on the list are also banned from defense exports and sales.

In addition, the list implements restrictions on dual-use items with civilian or military applications, like global positioning satellites, night vision technology and nuclear technology. 

“I don’t think we’re being provocative by labeling Putin a state sponsor of terrorism, I think we’re being rational. I think the designation is earned,” Graham said. “It would matter.” 

The senators do not have a timeline for getting this bill approved. They hope to get it through committee and the normal legislative process. However, they said they are prepared to ask for unanimous consent to get it passed on an expedited basis if necessary. 

“I don’t even need to go into the classified briefings that we’ve received to tell you how frightening the idea is that Russia would be lending its nuclear expertise to North Korea,” Blumenthal said. 

The senators said they do not know how much support the bill would receive in the House.

Graham likened a failure to stand up to Putin now to those who went along with Hitler’s expansion of German territory in the 1930s.

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, French Premier Edouard Daladier, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, and the Italian Foreign Minister, Count Galeazzo Ciano, meet in Munich in October 1938. Credit: Getty Images.

“If you give Russia a pass here, given all Putin has done, then we’ve lost deterrence,” Graham said.

The four countries currently designated as state sponsors of terror are Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Syria. The senators contend Russia deserves to join their ranks for the war crimes committed against Ukraine.

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[RAY BOGAN]

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Lindsey Graham introduced a bill that would require the Biden Administration to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terror. 

It’s the duo’s second attempt at pushing this through Congress. 

They first tried in May 2022 with a resolution that simply urged the Secretary of State to make the designation, but didn’t mandate it. 

[RICHARD BLUMENTHAL]

“Russia deserves to be in this small selective club of atrocity committing killers.” 

[BOGAN]

The Senators are upping the stakes in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to North Korea where he signed a military defense agreement with the country’s dictator Kim Jong Un. 

[BLUMENTHAL]

Signing a military partnership hostile to the United States, hostile to peace and liberty and justice around the world.” 

If signed into law, the bill would restrict Russia’s sovereign immunity in the US court system and increase penalties for evading sanctions. 

Countries on the list are also banned from defense exports and sales. In addition, there are restrictions on dual-use items which can be used for both civilian or military applications like: global positioning satellites, night vision technology, and nuclear technology. 

[LINDSEY GRAHAM]

I don’t think we’re being provocative by labeling terrorism. I think we’re being rational. I think the designation is earned. It would matter”

[BOGAN]

The Senators don’t have a timeline for getting this bill approved. They hope to get it through committee and the normal legislative process. But they said they are prepared to ask for unanimous consent to get it passed on an expedited basis if necessary. 

[BLUMENTHAL]

I don’t even need to go into the classified briefings that we perceive to tell you how frightening The idea is that Russia would be lending its nuclear expertise to North Korea.”

[BOGAN]

The Senators say they do not know how much support the bill would receive in the House. 

But Graham likened a failure to stand up to Putin now to those who appeased Hitler’s expansion of German territory in the 1930s. 

[GRAHAM]

“If you give Russia a pass here, given all Putin has done, then we’ve lost deterrence.”

[BOGAN]

There are four countries currently designated as state sponsors of terror – Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Syria. 

The Senators say Russia deserves to join their ranks for the war crimes committed against Ukraine. We will keep you updated on this bill’s progress and Russia’s status, so download the Straight Arrow News app.