The European Parliament has declared Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism” and declared that Russia’s atrocities against Ukrainians and destruction of civilian infrastructure violate international and humanitarian law. Wednesday’s parliamentary move was “welcomed by Ukrainian officials who urged European Union and NATO countries to designate Russia as a terrorist state. “Russia is a terrorist state Confirmed by the European Parliament. Russia has a history of acts of terrorism against sovereign states, support for terrorist regimes and organizations, including Wagner, and a war on terrorism against Ukraine,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleva tweeted, adding that Europe had a “clear stance” against Russia. Thanks to Congress.
However, the Russian seal of the European Parliament is not legally binding. “The EU does not have a centralized list of state sponsors of terrorism and mechanisms. Therefore, there is no immediate legal impact. It has limited influence over the world,” Sajjan M. Goher, a counter-terrorism expert and visiting lecturer at the London School of Economics (LSE), told Al Jazeera. The parliamentary statement “is a symbolic condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine,” he said. So far, Washington’s terrorist list includes Syria, North Korea, Cuba, and Iran as countries that “repeatedly support acts of international terrorism.” Ignatov said the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has resisted labeling Russia because it would likely close the channel for dialogue with the country. “Moscow has acknowledged that such a step would likely cut diplomatic ties with Washington, which wants to leave Russia a way to end the war in Ukraine through diplomacy,” added Ignatov.
It remains unclear how the European Parliament’s move will affect the ongoing war between the EU and Ukraine. The Baltic leaders of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland have urged the rest of the EU to recognize Russia as a terrorist state, but no unanimous decision has yet been taken. “All her EU member states overwhelmingly support Ukraine. Fundamentally, however, visions of how to achieve peace may differ. It turns out that countries close to Russia, such as the Baltics and Poland, want Ukraine to win the war. France or Germany wants peace, but of course, these are two very different strategies of hers, two very different visions,” Lete told Al Jazeera. He added that the European statement could make it later more difficult for EU countries to lift sanctions against Russia if a peace deal is sought.