A Russian diplomat warned Friday that a decision by the United States to name Russia a state sponsor of terrorism would mark a “point of no return.”
“It would mean that Washington would have to cross the point of no return, with the most serious collateral damage to bilateral diplomatic relations, up to their lowering or even breaking them off,” Alexander Darchiev, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s North American Department , told TASS Russian news agency. “The US side has been warned.”
The US Senate passed a non-binding resolution Urging Secretary of State Antony Blinken to label Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism in July, but he has not acted on it. The designation is currently only held by North Korea, Syria, Cuba and Iran.
Lawmakers like Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Lindsey Graham, RS.C., have remained vocal on the issue, telling CNN on Sunday that if President Joe Biden doesn’t get behind the label, they would work toward getting Congress to pass a bill issuing one. Typically such designations are made by the State Department.
“I hope the president will decide to adopt this stance voluntarily, and he hasn’t taken it off the table,” Blumenthal said.
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►Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, as of Saturday, has recorded 464 episodes of Russian war crimes against Ukrainian culture, including the destruction of 139 objects of cultural heritage, the agency said in a Telegram statement.
►Russia’s gross domestic product contracted 4% in the second quarter of this year, the first full quarter since Russia sent troops into Ukraine, the Russian state statistical service said Friday.
In his nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on European Union states to ban visas for Russian nationalssaying inaction would turn Europe into a “supermarket” for Russians.
“One cannot destroy the very idea of Europe, our common European values, that is, one cannot turn Europe into a supermarket where it does not matter who enters – the main thing is that a person simply pays for the goods,” he said.
The Ukrainian president said he didn’t mean Russians fleeing the nation in search of freedom from Russian President Vladimir Putin, but rather Russians seeking tourism who aren’t fighting back against their nation’s attacks on Ukraine.
Zelenskyy first suggested issuing a visa ban in an interview Monday with the Washington Post.
— She reads
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism