In a twisted turn of events, the Kremlin and President Joe Biden are now on the same page about something more than six months later. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Biden said over the weekend that he doesn’t think Russia should be named as state sponsor of terrorismand now the Kremlin is praising the president, announcing on Tuesday that Moscow is grateful for Biden’s position that the United States should avoid naming Russia.
Kremlin ‘appreciates’ Biden not acknowledging Russia as state sponsor of terrorism, says CASS.
“It’s good that the US president reacted in this way,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RBC TV, according to TASS. “The very formulation of the problem is monstrous.”
If the United States nominates Russia, Moscow will join the ranks of North Korea, Syria, Iran and Cuba.
The news of Biden’s interest in avoiding nominating Russia, State Sponsor of Terrorism comes as Russia seems desperate for any victory. Ukrainian forces have begun a counter-offensive in southern Ukraine targeting Kherson, which Russian forces seized in the early days of the war. The Russian Defense Minister announced Russia is slowing down in the war. Putin is working on forming a new army combat group, but had to rely on recruit prisoners and the removal of an age cap.
A key Russian general, the director of Russia’s National Guard, told Putin last week that Ukrainians supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in an apparent attempt to reassure a visibly shaken Putin.
And more than six months into the war, Putin’s military-industrial complex is struggling to keep pace with manufacturing to support Russian forces in Ukraine. In a sign of Russia’s desperation, it is turning to fellow pariah North Korea for millions of artillery shells and rockets, two US officials told The Daily Beast on Tuesday.
The White House National Security Council has expressed concern about the cascading consequences of the potential designation of Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
“This designation could have unintended consequences for Ukraine and the world. According to humanitarian experts and NGOs we have spoken to, this could seriously affect the ability to provide assistance in some areas of Ukraine,” NSC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson told The Daily Beast in a statement. , adding that the White House remained concerned about whether a designation would have undermined the Biden administration’s ability to support Ukraine at a negotiating table.
The White House said it was working with Congress to find new ways to hold Russia accountable in the interim.
“We have engaged with Congress on this and want to work with them on how we can create new accountability mechanisms that fully express our outrage at Russia’s war crimes, atrocities and aggression all effectively holding Russia accountable for these atrocities,” Watson said.
Biden’s comment comes weeks after Russia warned the United States against designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. The designation of Russia, a step that would lead to new sanctions and restrictions on defense exports, would plunge diplomatic relations between Moscow and Washington to an all-time low, according to the director of the North American department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexander Darchiev.
“We should put them on the list and then move on.”
“Washington should cross the point of no return, with the most serious collateral damage to bilateral diplomatic relations, until their lowering or even their rupture”, Darchev said in a TASS interview last month. “The US side has been notified.”
While Biden may heed the warning, the legislature is not on board. Pressure of American parliament has in recent months pushed the Biden administration to help Ukraine better respond to the Russian invasion, including sending advanced rocket launch systems, or High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), to Ukraine.
Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), one of several lawmakers behind a proposal in the House of Representatives to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, told The Daily Beast he doesn’t think not that Biden’s position here is the right one.
“The tangible support we are giving to Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia are far more important than any symbolic designation,” Malinowski told The Daily Beast. “But Russia deserves it, given its support for violent extremists and proxies like the Wagner Groupso I still think we should put them on the list and then move on.
Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, the Republican head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, lambasted Biden’s stance.
“President Biden’s flippant and outright dismissal of a state sponsor of terrorism designation for Russia is unacceptable,” McCaul told The Daily Beast. demand that the United States and its allies do everything in their power to isolate and hold the Putin regime accountable for its unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine.
Momentum has slowly been building in Congress to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism — and to push Biden further than he wants his administration to go. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rob Portman (R-OH) passed a non-binding decision resolution in the Senate urging the State Department to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. All 100 senators supported the resolution.
The House measure, which Malinowski supports, along with Representatives Ted Lieu (D-CA), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Jared Golden (D-ME), goes even further and would circumvent any slowness by the Biden administration to take next steps, with or without the State Department.
US Secretary of State Tony Blinken has previously said that Russia “terrorizing” the Ukrainian peoplebut indicated that he does not consider this decision relevant at this time.
“The costs that we and other countries have imposed on Russia are entirely consistent with the consequences that would flow from being designated as a state sponsor of terrorism. So the practical effects of what we do are the same,” Blinken told reporters in late July.