Latvia’s parliament has designated Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism Russian President Vladimir Putin’s War in Ukraine—and the Kremlin doesn’t seem to be taking it well.
Russia is committing genocide against the Ukrainian people, Latvian lawmakers said in a statement on Thursday. According to AFP. Russia “uses pain and intimidation as a tool in an attempt to weaken the morale of the Ukrainian people and the armed forces and paralyze the state to occupy Ukraine.”
More than 40 countries have already committed From nonsense to help document and investigate Russia’s suspected war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine Killing civiliansThat rapeThat Mass graves. The International Criminal Court may hold a trial as soon as this winter.
Already, Russian officials and lawmakers are outraged by news that another government believes the country’s behavior on the world stage is as bad as that of terrorists, claiming there is no evidence to back it up.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed on Telegram that “the authors of this idea should be called nothing but neo-Nazis, given that there are no facts behind this decision, but only cruel xenophobia.”
Andrey Klishas, chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee on Constitutional Law and State Building, suggested that Russia must retaliate. TASS.
“The most severe economic and political measures should be taken,” Klishus said, adding that other nations should instead be designated as state sponsors of terrorism.
Dmitry Novikov, first vice-chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, suggested that the United States itself would be too bold to assign Russia the same.
Latvia “has made a decision that Washington will be happy with, but Washington itself has not yet dared to do so,” Novikov said. TASS, he thinks Russia needs to respond as well. “I believe the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is preparing proposals on how to react to these developments and I am sure there will be a reaction.”
It’s unclear whether hackers have taken the call to action seriously, but the website of Latvia’s parliament, Saima, was shut down on Thursday in an apparent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, leaving the site inaccessible. Latvia’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) claimed that actors supporting Russia’s aggression were responsible for the DDoS, which hit the site with so much traffic that it was overwhelmed and unable to function.
CERT said in a statement, “SAIMA has adopted a statement identifying Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. “Activists supporting RU aggression have launched a massive DDoS attack on Saima’s resources.”
“This law affects Putin’s murderous behavior.“
CERT said there was no impact on the functioning of the Parliament.
Latvia has begun increasing its scrutiny of Russia to other nations and has also called on European Union governments to take action. Just this week, Estonia joined Finland and Latvia in banning Russian tourists from visiting their countries. Finnish Prime Minister Sana Marin said she expected Further restrictions Future discussions will be held at European Council and EU leaders’ summits.
Latvia is not the only country that has taken steps to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Some members of the US Congress are working to push the US to label Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. Last month, the Senate passed a resolution calling on the State Department to designate Russia with the label. and sense. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) A plea to the Biden administration To take that step in the meantime.
Some have gone further. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told Congress that if the State Department did not step up, Congress would appoint Russia first, according to Politico. And a group of bipartisan lawmakers, including Reps. They include Ted Lieu (D-CA), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Jared Golden (D-ME), Adam Kinger (R-IL) and Tom Malinowski (D-NJ). , introduced a bill that would jump ahead and pave the way for the State Department to label Russia a state sponsor of terrorism without action.
“The United States must use every tool at our disposal to deter Russia from its violent aggression in Ukraine,” Liu said in a statement. “Russia supports proxies that carry out terrorism against civilians around the world, from Syria to Ukraine. By designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, the law impeaches Putin’s murderous behavior.
The designation would put Russia on a short list of US state sponsors of terrorism: North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Syria.
And it’s not just about Ukraine.
“Putin has used chemical weapons on NATO soil, helped shoot down civilian airliners over Ukraine and supported dictatorships like Bashar al-Assad in Syria,” Kinzinger said.
Ukrainian officials, who have been pressing allies for months to appoint Russia, welcomed the news from Latvia on Thursday. Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Latvia’s decision to move on was “a timely move”.
“The Latvian Parliament is grateful to Saimaas and all its members for recognizing Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism,” Kuleba said. “Russia’s actions in Ukraine and beyond have long deserved this status. Ukraine encourages other states and organizations to follow suit.”