Blinken: Designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism — otherwise, Congress will.
The warning, made on a call between the two earlier this week, was described to POLITICO by two sources familiar with the conversation. Spokespersons for the State Department and Pelosi’s office declined to comment.
Some experts, though, say the move would ratchet up the pressure on the Kremlin and make all dealings with Russia for U.S. persons near impossible. “Labeling Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism would be significant because it’s a blanket measure,” said Edward Fishman, an expert on sanctions at the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington, D.C. “It injects a risk into all dealings with Russia.”
That said, he noted Congress hasn’t yet made a major move to punish Russia five months into the war. For secondary sanctions and beyond, “having a congressional mandate makes those sanctions far more effective,” Fishman said.
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