As part of a new policy of containment, the United States should declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism over its support for various militant groups and terror organizations around the world, Republicans lawmakers in the U.S. Congress wrote in a recent foreign policy recommendations summary.

“Russia has sponsored terrorism throughout the world yet it paints itself as a counterterror partner,” the report by the Republican Study Committee, an association of U.S. House of Representatives, states.

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“…Russia is directly arming the Taliban. Russia has directly coordinated with and given air cover to the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah in the war in Syria. Russian operations in Syria targeted mostly U.S.-backed rebel forces fighting ISIS. In one instance, in October 2015, Russian airstrikes even provided air cover for ISIS positions against U.S.-backed groups. Russia also allows the neo-Nazi militia Russian Imperial Movement, recently designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, to operate freely within its borders and fight in eastern Ukraine against the Ukrainian government.”


For that reason, the group recommends that Congress designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, which “imposes a number of sanctions by law, including controls over dual-use items, lifting diplomatic immunity to allow families of terrorist victims to file lawsuits in U.S. courts, and prohibitions on economic assistance and arms-related exports and sales.”

Moreover, the report suggests imposing much stronger sanctions on Russia, targeting “Russian individuals and entities that facilitate or benefit from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s corruption, as well as those who knowingly engage in significant financial transactions with individuals that support or facilitate Russian malicious cyber activities.”

A new set of measures also should sanction the purchase of new Russian sovereign debt, the report says.


The U.S. must also take stronger action against pro-Russian media tycoons who spread Kremlin-sponsored propaganda and disinformation in the world, the report says, designating Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch and personal friend of Putin, a “proxy in Ukraine who has used his media empire to actively assist Russia’s efforts to spread harmful disinformation within the country.”

“Furthermore, the Department of State should produce a report listing Kremlin-connected oligarchs who help finance Russian military aggression through proxies and mercenary armies,” the congresspersons added.

“Such a report would be useful for Congress to determine the necessity of future sanctions and would deter individuals and entities from working with the Kremlin.”

The reports goes on to state that the U.S. government should also prepare an interagency report on Russian influence in American industries and even put pressure on the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), an international banking communication system, to expel Russia.

The experts recommended that the United States also bolster military support for Ukraine, including providing advanced weaponry.


“Congress should continue to authorize this lethal aid for Ukraine in the (National Defense Authorization Act), including anti-tank, anti-ship, and anti-aircraft defense systems. Congress should pass the U.S.-Ukraine Security Cooperation Enhancement Act, which would also require the Secretary of State to submit a report to Congress that reviews U.S. security assistance to Ukraine, including areas of need for Ukraine to effectively deter Russian aggression.”

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