The senators assured Secretary Blinken of their readiness to change the legislation for this, if necessary.
The administration of President Joe Biden is exploring the possibility of recognizing Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, but officials have not yet determined that the Kremlin’s actions meet the legal standards for such a definition.
This was stated to lawmakers by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba appealed for such a decision.
The status of a State sponsor of terrorism will entail sanctions, including restrictions on foreign aid, a ban on the export of defense products and other measures.
The sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine on February 24 have already led to a ban on a significant part of trade with this country.
At a Senate hearing on Wednesday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham urged Blinken to make such a decision and asked why it had not been done yet.
“I have no doubt, Senator, that Russia is terrorizing the Ukrainian people,” Blinken said. “The question is, and lawyers are studying this, that we need to make sure that the situation really meets the requirements for such a definition.”
Referring to the actions allegedly committed by Russia in Ukraine and Syria, where Moscow supports President Bashar al-Assad, Graham told the Secretary of State: “If you need to change the law so that Russia falls under it, you will get all 100 votes.”
To include a country in the list of state sponsors of terrorism, the Secretary of State must determine that its government has “repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism,” the Department of State said.
There are currently four countries on this list: Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Syria.