Nancy Pelosi Wants Blinken To Label Russia A Terrorist State

( Secretary of State Antony Blinken received a directive from Speaker Nancy Pelosi to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism or Congress will. A state sponsor of terrorism label for Russia, according to Pelosi, is “far overdue,” she declared.

Informants familiar with the conversation reported the warning to the media. The State Department and Pelosi’s office denied requests for comment.

The secretary of state was given the authority by Congress to designate another nation as a state sponsor of terrorism. However, some in Congress assert that members may enact a statute to establish the designation without the involvement of the State Department.

Reports show no legal reason why Congress couldn’t enact legislation to label Russia as a state supporter of terrorism. Congress approving legislation is undoubtedly more complex than the secretary’s designation, but it would provide the administration with the political cover to intensify the pressure on Putin through economic and verbal means.

According to reports, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) presented a bill in May that would reiterate the Senate’s belief that Russia commits acts of terrorism, but it primarily asks Blinken to designate Russia as such formally. Earlier this month, they flew to Kyiv to endorse the proposal alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who favors the U.S. officially designating Russia as a terrorist state. The House likewise received a similar resolution.

According to the State Department, the designation also “implicates other sanctions laws that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with state sponsors,” which suggests that the United States may need to broaden its sanctions far beyond just targeting particular facets of the Russian economy. The four countries that the United States now considers to be state sponsors of terrorism—Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria—engage in substantially less global trade than Russia. That may be why the State Department has long questioned the effectiveness of that action.

Blinken may see further pressure to take the side of the senators and make the designation if either resolution succeeds on Capitol Hill.