The European Parliament votes to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism: why it will not have consequences

The European Parliament will vote on Wednesday to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. A merely symbolic movement, since the European Union does not have a legal framework to designate countries with this status. Something that does happen in the United States, who grants this label to the governments of Syria, Iran, North Korea or Cuba. For his part, the Union as such does not have the powers to recognize presidents or country status. It is the Member States who do it individually, something that was highlighted when the European Parliament appointed, without any effect, the Venezuelan Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela.

For this reason, one of the key points of the proposal is to call on Brussels to create a new legal framework that does allow this denomination and to ask the 27 European governments to give this recognition to Russia. The Parliaments of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia or the Czech Republic have already done so. The non-binding resolution is expected to go ahead with the majority of the Populares, Liberals and Conservatives, while the Social Democrats, Greens and The Left have more reservations. The Spanish PSOE will vote in favor while IU awaits the amendments to decide its final position, according to sources from both parties to Public.

Russia has used more than 4,000 different missiles against Ukraine and has been responsible for 34,000 war crimes.

The data collected by the MEPs shows that in the last nine months, Russia has used more than 4,000 different missiles against Ukraine, has been responsible for 34,000 war crimes, has destroyed 40% of the country’s critical energy infrastructure, bombed more than 60,000 civil infrastructures and committed torture, forced disappearances, rapes and atrocities in territories such as Bucha or Irpin.

Already in September, the independent UN mission confirmed that Russia had committed war crimes in the neighboring country, including summary executions or sexual violence. Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky redoubled his calls this week in Madrid for NATO countries to recognize Russia as a terrorist state.

The text argues that a terrorist state is one that systematically applies violence against a civilian population.

The text argues that a terrorist State is one that systematically applies violence against a civilian population and its infrastructure: schools, hospitals or nuclear power plants. And it includes that Moscow has used this strategy with its proxies in Syria, Libya or Mali. In the spotlight is the group of Russian mercenaries Wagner, which also operates in Ukraine, and which was already the target of European sanctions a year ago.


The key line of the resolution is “the European Parliament recognizes Russia as a State sponsor of terrorism and as a State that uses terrorist means”, advances the European People’s Party (EPP) MEP. Andrius Kubilus, speaker of the text. According to the proposal on the table, this hypothetical recognition at the EU level would have an economic and diplomatic effect on the country of Vladimir Putin, which would remain even more isolated from the international arena. Trade relations and political contacts would be further limited. Thus, the few channels of dialogue between the EU and the Russian Federation would diminish. In fact, the text calls for freezing contacts at all levels, but in the short term it will not materialize due to the legal vacuum within Europe on this issue.

One of the priorities of the EU and the United States since the start of the war has been to isolate Russia on all fronts.

One of the priorities of the EU and the United States since the start of the war has been to isolate Russia on all fronts: diplomatic, cultural or economic. Turn him into an outcast. But Russia has withstood international pressure. In fact, more than many anticipated. The Russian economy will fall less than initially expected. China or India have not turned their backs on Moscow. Y regions such as Africa or Latin America have not joined international sanctions. Along these lines, another of the arteries that backbone the plenary resolution involves suspending Russia’s participation in international organizations such as the G20 or the UN Security Council, scenarios that have few prospects of becoming a reality.


The Union studies whether to add the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to the list

The EU has a list of organizations, entities or individuals considered to be terrorists and subject to sanctions. Among them are Hezbollah’s armed wing or the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). But no country. The Europeans set this first step after the attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York in line with those sanctioned by the United Nations. Fifteen years later, the EU drew its first punitive string for terrorist links and autonomously added to members of Islamic States or Al Qaedawho basically have their accounts in the EU frozen and a ban on financial ties with any European entity or individual.

At this time, the Union is studying whether to include on the list Iranian Revolutionary Guard, following evidence that the Persian kingdom is providing kamikaze drones that Russia is using in Ukraine. The Twenty-seven review these listings and sanctions every six months: they are expandable, but they can also be reversed. In 2016, after the peace agreement, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) ceased to be under the punitive order of Brussels.

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