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Ukraine has recently demanded that the United States classify Russia as a "state supporter

of terrorism." The designation would trigger the United States' most severe set of

sanctions against Russia. The US Secretary of State (the minister in charge of foreign

affairs) has the authority to designate countries as "State Sponsors of Terrorism" if they

"have persistently supplied assistance for acts of international terrorism."

The US can place four categories of sanctions on countries that are on this list:

1. Restrictions on US foreign assistance

2. A ban on defence exports and sales

3. Certain controls over exports of dual use items

4. Miscellaneous financial and other restrictions

Sanctions can also be placed on countries and persons that engage in certain trade with

designated countries.Countries on the list as of now which are designated as state

sponsered are Syria ,Iran North Korea .

The designation could lift diplomatic immunity on Russian officials, and allow families of

alleged terrorist victims to file lawsuits in US courts against Russian officials.


There are currently three statutes that authorise the Secretary of State to designate a

foreign government for repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism: (i)

Section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, which prohibits, the transfer of most

aid,  (ii) Section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), which prohibits exports,

credits, guarantees, other financial assistance, and export licensing overseen by the State

Department; and (iii) Section 1754(c) of the Export Controls Act of 2018.

Of these three statutes, only the AECA identifies objectionable activities as part of the

definition while none of the three Acts defines the overarching term “international



Initially, India voted no on a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution

presented by the United States that strongly condemns Russia's aggression against

Ukraine. India once again abstained from voting in the United Nations Security Council

on a Russia-drafted resolution on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, which requested a

negotiated ceasefire to allow for the safe, quick, voluntary, and unhindered evacuation of

civilians. Unlike previous abstentions in the Ukraine crisis, this was the first time India

sided with the West in this conflict (even if by an abstention). India also voted no at the

United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. The Council passed a resolution calling

for the formation of an international commission to investigate Russia's conduct in

Ukraine.India also abstained from the International Atomic Energy Agency

(IAEA) resolution that was related to safety at four nuclear power stations and a number

of nuclear waste sites including Chernobyl, as the Russians seized control of them.


Although Russia's attack on Ukraine is a flagrant breach of international law, it does not

qualify as terrorism for the purposes of this categorization, but Russia has supplied plenty

of other justifications during the last decade. To be designated as a state supporter of

terrorism, the secretary of state must find that the government of the country has

consistently provided assistance for international terrorism, such as assassinations or

financing terrorist groups.


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