2 US senators introduce bill to designate Russia as state sponsor of terrorism

2 US senators introduce bill to designate Russia as state sponsor of terrorism

'We're going to insist on a vote. Best thing we could do, I think, to shape the future, is to label Putin a terrorist leader, because he is,' says Lindsey Graham

By Diyar Guldogan

WASHINGTON (AA) - US Senators Richard Blumenthal and Lindsey Graham introduced a bill Thursday to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism in the wake of its military deal with North Korea.

"Exhibit A. I rest my case," Blumenthal said at a news conference with Graham, while holding up a photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Two of the most autocratic, atrocity-committing leaders in the world standing together," said the Democratic senator, referring to Putin and Kim, adding: "Russia deserves to be in this small selective club of atrocity committing killers."

Graham, a Republican, said he would urge the Senate leadership to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.

"We're going to insist on a vote. The best thing we could do, I think, to shape the future, is to label Putin a terrorist leader, because he is. This would have enormous benefit in Ukraine, I think. So I look forward to being able to have a vote on our bill," he said.

Saying after the mutual defense pact signed this week between North Korea and Russia that it is time for the US to push back, he said: "Here's a general rule: anybody that does a defense agreement with North Korea should be a state-sponsored terrorist."

Four nations are currently US-designated state sponsors of terror: Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria.

This February, the Russian Federal Financial Monitoring Service put Graham on a list of "extremists and terrorists."

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