Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has made a direct request to Joe Biden that the US designates Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, the Washington Post reports.
This would be a rare and radical sanction, but Zelenskiy has been firm in putting pressure on the west to assist in Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s invasion, and this is no exception as his country endures atrocities from its northern neighbor.
He asked the US president in a recent phone call, but the question has not previously been reported, the Post adds, citing unnamed sources, who apparently indicated that “Biden did not commit to specific actions during the call.”
The Post reports that “even during the Cold War, Washington refrained from designating the Soviet Union in this manner despite Moscow’s support for groups considered terrorist actors throughout the 1970s and 1980s.”
Justification for the designation would have to be arrived at by secretary of state Antony Blinken.
The designation is normally applied to nations that “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism,” according to a State Department fact sheet cited by the Post, which adds that there are four countries on the department’s list right now: North Korea, Cuba, Iran and Syria.