UPDATED 1:31 PM PT – Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are taking aim at Russia in a new Senate resolution. On Capitol Hill Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to designate the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Graham said the International Criminal Court should investigate Vladimir Putin individually as a war criminal. He added, the Ukrainian government asked the US to look at the designation and believe it would turn the tide of the war.
“Of all the things we could do this week, the $40 billion is really important and it puts weapons in the hands of the Ukrainian military fighting like tigers,” Graham explained. “It marginalizes Russia even more and it helps the training economy survive under this onslaught, but why did the EU Crimean parliament specifically asked for this? Because they understand the day that United States says with a single boys that Russia is in the hands of a terrorist called Putin and the whole country is sponsoring terrorism would be a game changer in terms of the outcome of this war.”
Graham suggested that if the US steps back from prosecuting Putin as a war criminal, China will certainly invade Taiwan. Additionally, Blumenthal noted Russia has been sponsoring terrorism for years and needs to be held accountable. The Democrat asserted Putin should be investigated and punished to the furthest extent.
The text of our resolution – S. Res. 623 – introduced with @SenBlumenthal.
The resolution affirms Russia as sponsoring acts of terrorism and calls on the Secretary of State to designate the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 10, 2022
Earlier this week, Graham said the US should do everything in its power, besides sending troops into Ukraine, to deter Russia from invading other countries, but raised concerns that Putin was getting “desperate” and could launch a nuclear attack against Ukraine.
Russia, which is nearing its third month of war against Ukraine, has been accused of multiple war crimes for killings in Bucha and bombings in the city of Mariupol. However, the Biden administration has continued to resist calls to add Russia to the list of countries designated as terror sponsors.