Lithuania designates Russia as terrorist state, US still resists to designate Russia as terror sponsor

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Lithuania's parliament on Tuesday designated Russia as a terrorist country and recognized its actions in Ukraine as genocide.

In doing so, Lithuania has become the first country in the world to designate Russia as a sponsor and executor of terrorism, Ukraine's Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security tweeted.

Lithuania's unicameral parliament reportedly adopted the two-pronged resolution unanimously, per a statement posted to its Facebook page.

"The war against Ukraine by the Russian Federation is genocide of the Ukrainian nation carried out by Russia. The Russian Federation is a country that supports and executes terrorism," the statement reads.

The resolution states that Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukrainian cities such as Bucha, Irpin, Mariupol, Borodyanka and Hostomel, Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT) reported.

The parliament "recognizes the full-scale armed aggression – war – against Ukraine by the armed forces of the Russian Federation and its political and military leadership ... as genocide against the Ukrainian people," it added.

The resolution also stated that Russia, "whose military forces deliberately and systematically target civilian targets, is a state that supports and perpetrates terrorism."

Meanwhile, CNBC says senate resolution would urge Biden administration to designate Russia as state sponsor of terrorism sponsor under Putin

Two senators -- Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina – reportedly unveiled a resolution Tuesday calling on the Biden administration to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism for its war on Ukraine and conduct elsewhere under Vladimir Putin.

CNBC notes that the resolution, which comes in response to a request for such a move by Ukraine’s parliament, would ask Secretary of State Antony Blinken to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism — possibly as part of a supplemental aid package for Ukraine set to be considered by Congress.

But so far, the Biden administration has reportedly resisted calls to add Russia to what is a tiny list of countries designated as terror sponsors: Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria.

White House spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked Monday about imposing that designation. Psaki noted that a number of the actions the United States would take if that happened, including imposing “crippling economic sanctions, sanctions on individuals” and other restrictions, as well as making a country “a global pariah ... are all steps that we have already taken and implemented as it relates to Russia.” She added, “We’ll see what happens in Congress,” according to CNBC.

State Department spokesman Ned Price, when asked about the resolution Tuesday, told reporters, “We’ll continue to watch and to determine whether Russia’s actions in Ukraine merit and qualify for additional authorities” contained in the designation beyond the sanctions already in effect. “If we feel those authorities are appropriate, we won’t hesitate to apply them,” Price said.

Source: Asia-Plus