European Parliament to declare Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism”

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The leaders of the main political groups in the European Parliament have agreed on a strongly-worded resolution on Russia.
 

The European Parliament could pass a far-reaching, but non-binding resolution on Russia next week. Negotiators of five political  groups on Thursday reached a compromised on a joint motion that declares Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism and a state that uses means of terrorism”. 

According to the draft resolution seen by EU Watch, lawmakers also urge the other EU institutions and member states to develop a new legal framework to allow for the designation of states as sponsors of terrorism and of states which use means of terrorism.

Andrius Kubilius MEP, former prime minister of Lithuania and standing rapporteur of the European Parliament on Russia, told EU Watch that while the wording was a compromise between the different political formations, it would send a “very powerful political message to Putin and the elite around him”. Kubilius said he expected the “majority to vote for the resolution.”

 
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Andrius Kubilius at European Parliament's Plenary session. Photo: Mathieu CUGNOT/European Union 2022.
What are the main points of the draft resolution?
  • EU and member states are urged to isolate the Russian Federation on the international level, including its membership in United Nations bodies such as the Security Council, and other international organisations
  • EU should not attend any formal events on Russian territory any longer
  • Diplomatic relations with Russia to be reduced to the absolute necessary minimum at all levels
  • Nord Stream 1 & 2 gas pipelines to be completely abandoned 
  • Immediate and full embargo on EU imports of Russian fossil fuels and uranium
  • Russian symbols that glorify the war to be prohibited
  • Commission and the co-legislators to complete the legal regime which will allow for the confiscation of the frozen Russian assets. These resources can be used for the reconstruction of Ukraine, and the compensation for the victims of Russia’s aggression.
  • The European lawmakers also want the European Union to include “Russian-funded armed groups, militias and proxies” in the bloc’s list of terrorist organisations, including the so-called Wagner Group and the 141st Special Motorized Regiment (commonly known as Kadyrovites).
 
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Visit of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, to Ukraine. Dati Bendo/European Union, 2022.
What are the practical implications of such a move?

The resolution acknowledges that a framework for designation of states as sponsors of terrorism is not yet in place on EU level. Andrius Kubilius believes, however, that the EU should move from “ad-hoc decisions to systemic decisions.” He added: “I’m always optimistic. Usually, when the EU is facing a crisis, it is becoming stronger in that area.”

However, there is some scepticism as to the practicality of the proposals. One MEP said, on condition of anonymity, that the text contained a lot of “hot air”. Moreover, the motion is not binding on the Council, which is the main player in EU foreign relations.

Authors: Nenad Jurdana and Michael Thaidigsmann

 

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