Congressional Republicans offer to designate Russia “State sponsor of terrorism”

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Congressional Republicans offer to designate Russia "State sponsor of terrorism" 1

As part of a new policy of containment, the United States should declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism over its support for various militant groups and terror organizations around the world, Republicans lawmakers in the U.S. Congress stress in a recent foreign policy recommendations summary.

The Republican Study Committee (RSC) released on June 10 the document entitled “The RSC National Security Strategy: Strengthening America & Countering Global Threats”.

The document includes over 130 policy recommendations focused on strengthening America and countering its global threats. This includes the toughest sanctions ever proposed by Congress against Russia, the Chinese Communist Party, and Iran.

“Russia has sponsored terrorism throughout the world yet it paints itself as a counterterror partner. The top U.S. Commander in Afghanistan has stated that Russia is directly arming the Taliban. Russia has directly
coordinated with and given air cover to the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah in the war in Syria. Russian operations in Syria targeted mostly U.S.-backed rebel forces fighting ISIS. In one instance, in October 2015, Russian airstrikes even provided air cover for ISIS positions against U.S.-backed groups. Russia also allows the neo-Nazi militia Russian Imperial Movement, recently designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, to operate freely within its borders and fight in eastern Ukraine against the Ukrainian government,” – the document says.

The list of aggressive Russian behavior in recent years is long, the strategy stresses.

“For instance, under Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian regime, Russia has invaded and annexed parts of its neighbors (Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014), engaged in disinformation campaigns to undermine democratic elections in many Western democracies – including the United States, used military grade chemical weapons for assassination purposes, coordinated militarily in Syria with the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah, and supported the Taliban in Afghanistan,” reads the document.

Also, the strategy suggests putting forward “the toughest package of sanctions on Russia ever proposed by Congress, including secondary sanctions on Russian oil and gas projects, sanctions on Russian sovereign debt, sanctions on Russian proxies in other countries”.

“The United States does not control SWIFT, but it can use its influence to remove Russia from SWIFT through legislation authorizing sanctions on SWIFT itself if it does not expel Russia,” the document says.

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