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HomeNewsLindsey Graham Suggests Designating Russia a State Sponsor of Terrorism Under US...

Lindsey Graham Suggests Designating Russia a State Sponsor of Terrorism Under US Law

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Lindsey Graham
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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) thinks it is wise to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. There are a few reasons why the country deserves the tag. But this time, it is due to the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Navalny was the most prominent of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s opponents. He died in a high-security prison near the Arctic Circle in Russia on February 16.

The prison service said he passed on after losing consciousness following a walk. However, there was immediate, widespread speculation — including from President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy — that Putin had something to do with Navalny’s death. 

A spokesperson for Navalny confirmed Saturday, February 17, that he was no more. “Navalny was one of the bravest people I ever met. When he went back to Russia, he had to know he was going to be killed by Putin, and he was murdered by Putin,” Graham said on Sunday during an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

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“Why don’t we do this? I just got off the phone with two Democratic senators. Let’s make Russia a state sponsor of terrorism under U.S. law. Let’s make them pay a price for killing Navalny.”

There are four countries that currently carry the label of state sponsors of terrorism: Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria. The label comes with a series of sanctions, including restrictions on foreign assistance and a ban on defense exports and sales.

Graham said on Sunday that legislation adding Russia to the list could come as early as this week.

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“President Biden told Putin, if something happens to Navalny, you’re going to pay a price. President Biden, I agree with you, the price they should pay is to make Russia a state sponsor of terrorism,” Graham said.

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Navalny, 47, had a target on his back in recent years and was subject to imprisonment and poisoning. They found a nerve agent “in and on” his body in 2020, sparking international backlash and causing the Biden administration to put new sanctions on Russia.

Navalny’s death comes a month before a presidential election in Russia. As always, Putin hopes to extend his more than two-decade domination of the country. And ahead of such ambitious plans, it is not shocking that he decided to move the opposition out of the way. 

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Russia’s election wigreatly impact on world politics, but it is not the only election coming up soon. The United States will also be having its general election later this year, and the outcome will affemany of things. 

All eyes are on Joe Biden and Donald Trump, but neithem seems to be the optimal option. At best, voting between them for some will be like choosing between the lesser of two evils. Except Biden ultimately decides to step down. 

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