Posted 44 days ago
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday demanded that President Joe Biden designate the Russian Federation as an official state sponsor of terrorism over its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
The label places miscellaneous financial and foreign aid restrictions on a country and allows alleged victims of terrorism that its government is accused of sponsoring to sue for civil damages.
'I think it’s a good idea and I would support that,' McConnell told reporters from Sweden, according to The Hill.
'The president could do it on his own and I would urge him to do it.'
His comments came after a bipartisan push to fast track a new $40 billion aid package to help Kyiv defend itself against Moscow's troops was stalled by McConnell's fellow Republican senator from Kentucky.
The amount is more than double the previous successful effort to allocate nearly $14 billion for humanitarian and military assistance, much of which has already been depleted.
The Republican senator blasted the Kremlin for its 'naked aggression' and vowed Congress would secure more dollars for Ukraine despite the funds causing a very public dispute within the GOP.
Despite that McConnell said he assured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his officials 'that within the Congress there was very, very broad support for continuing the fight.'
'Support for Ukraine in this war against the Russians is bipartisan,' the lawmaker told the press.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his military have been accused of war crimes by the international community over numerous reports of the rape, torture and execution of civilians in Ukraine since the invasion began on February 24.
Moscow's troops retreated from Kyiv's suburbs last month as intelligence reports indicate Putin is recalibrating forces for another brutal push to take Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.
McConnell's demand to penalize Russia with a state terrorism sponsor designation comes after Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina introduced a resolution last week urging Secretary of State Antony Blinken to do the same.
The US government currently lists four countries as state sponsors of terrorism: Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Syria.
On Saturday McConnell led a Senate GOP trip to Kyiv accompanied by Senators Susan Collins of Maine, John Barrasso of Wyoming and John Cornyn of Texas.
Video shared by Zelensky shows him greeting the American delegation on a street in Kyiv, which remains firmly in Ukrainian control nearly two months after Russia launched its invasion of ... (Read more)