US could name Russia ‘state sponsor of terrorism’
A group of American senators has introduced legislation to provide additional military support to Ukraine, proposing to designate Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” if Moscow aggressively strikes at its neighbor.
Eight Republican party legislators submitted the bill on Wednesday, naming it the GUARD Act, which stands for Guaranteeing Ukraine’s Autonomy by Reinforcing its Defense. The proposed legislation includes a range of measures designed to support Kiev, including authorizing $450 million in foreign military financing in 2022 and promising to designate Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” in the event of perceived aggression.
According to John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), one of the lawmakers introducing the bill, Russian President Vladimir Putin “is attempting to dominate and control Ukraine.” The senator said, “we cannot let this bold and dangerous behavior go unchecked. The United States and our allies must do more to deter Russia by increasing the costs of its aggression.”
The bill also includes additional sanctions against Nord Stream 2, the newly constructed pipeline that will bring Russian gas to Europe through the Baltic Sea. Ukraine, which stands to lose billions of dollars in gas transit fees, has described the project as a security threat. But despite strenuous objections from Kiev and Washington, European leaders have indicated that the pipeline will begin operations as soon as it clears bureaucratic obstacles.
In recent weeks, Ukraine and the US have accused Moscow of “aggressive actions,” including a troop buildup on the border with Ukraine, and said that they suspected Russia could be planning to invade its eastern European neighbor.
The Kremlin has consistently denied the allegations, pointing out that its soldiers have remained within Russian territory. Moscow’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said Western accusations and pledges to support Ukraine are dangerous because they could push Kiev towards a military solution to the crisis in the country’s war-torn Donbass region.