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European Parliament designates Russia as state sponsor of terrorism

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The European Parliament has declared Russia a state sponsor of terrorism for carrying out strikes on Ukraine’s civilian facilities, energy infrastructure, hospitals, schools, and shelters, Reuters reports:

“The deliberate attacks and atrocities committed by Russian forces and their proxies against civilians in Ukraine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure, and other serious violations of international and humanitarian law amount to acts of terror and constitute war crimes.”

As The Insider explained earlier, the status has no legal ramifications.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky commented on the European Parliament’s decision on Telegram:

“I welcome the European Parliament's decision to recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and as a state which uses means of terrorism. Russia must be isolated at all levels and held accountable in order to end its long-standing policy of terrorism in Ukraine and across the globe.”

In October, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) passed a resolution declaring the Russian government a terrorist regime and questioning Russia's seat on the UN Security Council. As international criminal law expert Gleb Bogush pointed out to The Insider, PACE’s decision bore no legal implications for Russia either:

“For now, the resolution is more of a political gesture, a stance issued as a guideline to 46 countries on the Council of Europe for the assessment of Russia's actions.”

Importantly, as Bogush explained, international law treats the concepts of a “terrorist state” and a “terrorist regime (government)” differently.

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