US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has admitted for the first time that Russia could be recognised as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Source: Blinken at a US Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on China, as reported by European Pravda
Details: Blinken's statement was made during a discussion with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who insisted that Russia should be designated a state sponsor of terrorism.
"We all want China to stop helping Russia, right? I have an idea. 100 US senators have proposed that we declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism to deter countries like China from providing them with weapons," Graham pointed out.
"Months have passed and nothing has happened. Mr Secretary of State, I like you very much, but you will never declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, will you?" Graham asked.
Blinken responded briefly: "Never say never."
In his discussion with the senator, Blinken went on to say that in his opinion, the sanctions already in place and the powers the United States has have managed to deter Beijing from providing military assistance to Moscow.
Designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism would lead to Moscow's international isolation and force the US to impose additional restrictions on countries that interact with the Kremlin. It is the State Department that has the authority to determine this status.
Background: The Biden administration has previously rejected demands to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, saying that this would tie the US’s hands in its engagement with Russia as a whole and block any diplomatic efforts to end Russia's war against Ukraine.