Ukraine’s Zelenskyy asks Biden to consider Russia a sponsor of terrorism

Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked European countries to stop buying oil from Russia.

Press Service of the President of Ukraine | via Reuters

Ukrainian President Zelenksyy asked the Biden administration to appoint Russia as a state sponsor of counterterrorism, two sources familiar with the discussions told NBC News.

Zelenskyy Sources said the request was made during a recent phone call with President Joe Biden.

The source added that the request does not carry the same priority as urgent calls for arms and energy sanctions against Russia.

The Washington Post first reported on the request.

Last month when asked if the US would consider appointing Russia a sponsor of terrorism, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Secretary of State Antony Blinken both left open the possibility.

“We are and we will look at everything,” Blinken said on March 17.

Currently, only four countries are on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism: Iran, North Korea, Syria and Cuba.

The designation imposes some of the toughest sanctions the US government can impose on a country, with restrictions on financial transactions, exports and sales of defense as well as foreign aid. outside.

The Biden administration has imposed severe financial and other sanctions on Russia, including blocking it from accessing about half of its foreign exchange reserves. It is not clear how such a designation will affect the Russian economy.

If Biden blacklists Russia as a sponsor of terrorism, according to some legal experts, then any company, individual or state that wins a court ruling against Russia could claim request access to any frozen or frozen assets of the Russian government or Russian oligarchs.

The designation could increase diplomatic immunity for Russian officials and allow families of alleged terrorism victims to file lawsuits in US courts against Russian officials.

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