European Parliament Declares Russia a “State Sponsor of Terrorism”

Key Takeaways:

  • The European Parliament has declared Russia a state sponsor of terrorism
  • The resolution, tabled by three different groups, received overwhelming support by the MEPs
  • Russia slammed the resolution while Ukraine welcomed it
The European Parliament has declared Russia a state sponsor of terrorism for the crimes in committed following the invasion of Ukraine
The European Parliament has declared Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Photo by Guillaume Périgois

YEREVAN ( — The European Parliament declared Russia a state sponsor of terrorism on Wednesday. The decision comes one day before its invasion of neighboring Ukraine completes nine months. Members of the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the resolution, with 494 votes in for, 58 against, and 44 abstentions. 

The resolution cited several war crimes committed by Russia in newly and previously occupied territories of Ukraine, including “summary executions, abductions, sexual violence, torture and other atrocities.” 

European Parliament voted to declare Russia a 'state sponsor of terrorism
The European Parliament voted to declare Russia a ‘state sponsor of terrorism

According to the Members of the European Parliament, the Russian military strikes on Ukrainian civilian targets such as energy infrastructure, hospitals, schools, and shelters violated international law.

“The deliberate attacks and atrocities carried out by the Russian Federation against the civilian population of Ukraine… serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law amount to acts of terror against the Ukrainian population and constitute war crimes,” 

 the MEPs said in the resolution. 

Although non-binding, the resolution is highly symbolic. It once again confirms the collective attitude of Europe towards the invasion. Moreover, it will help garner support for more financial and military aid for Ukraine. 

The European Union has already levied several sanctions against the Kremlin for its invasion of Ukraine.

The final text was a merger of three different resolutions which the European People’s Party (EPP), Renew Europe, and the European Conservatives and Reformists group (ECR) tabled.

European Parliament calls for a new legal framework

The European Parliament also called on EU member states to develop a brand-new legal framework that can enable the designation of an entire country as a sponsor of terrorism, something that is currently not possible.

This would trigger several significant restrictive measures against those countries and would have profound restrictive implications for EU relations with those countries. 

“The European Parliament calls on the Council to subsequently consider adding the Russian Federation to such an EU list of state sponsors of terrorism; calls on the EU’s partners to adopt similar measures,” 

the resolution reads. 

So far, only 13 persons and 21 entities have been added to the EU’s terrorist list. According to the rules, all 27 EU member countries must unanimously approve any changes in the legal framework. 

“For the time being, the European Union has no such regulation like, for example, the Americans, who have a special law on the designation of the states which are sponsoring terrorism,” 

Euronews quoted MEP Andrius Kubilius, who authored the resolution. 

The development comes around the same time that a Russian missile strike on a maternity unit in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region killed a newborn baby. 

Russian air strikes on a maternity ward killed a newborn child in Ukraine
Russian air strikes on a maternity ward killed a newborn child in Ukraine

According to local reports, emergency workers rescued the baby’s mother and a doctor from the rubble. The baby, however, could not be saved. 

Recommended: Ukraine: Europe’s Largest Nuclear Power Plant Has a ‘Lucky’ Escape after Shelling

Volodymyr Zelensky welcomes the resolution. Russia slams it

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the European Parliament’s decision. Besides declaring Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, Zelensky called on countries to isolate the Kremlin at all levels. 

“Russia must be… held accountable in order to end its long-standing policy of terrorism in Ukraine and across the globe,”  

Zelensky declared.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the European Parliament's resolution
The Ukrainian President welcomed the European Parliament’s resolution

Meanwhile, the Kremlin slammed the EU resolution through a Telegram post by Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. 

“I propose designating the European Parliament as a sponsor of idiocy,”  

Zakharova wrote, seemingly angry. 

As the Kremlin goes all guns brazing at the European Parliament, its armed forces continue to create havoc in Ukraine. 

Intense fighting has commenced in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. The town of Avdiivka has received intense artillery fire from Kremlin’s forces.  

“Avdiivka suffered the most in the Donetsk direction: There were incoming hits overnight, and in the morning, there was massive shelling of the city center,” 

Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk region military administration wrote on Telegram. 

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), Russian forces have killed at least 6,595 Ukrainian civilians since the war began. An additional 10,189 have been injured. 

Among those killed, 2,575 were men, and 1,767 were women. Additionally, 172 girls, 206 boys, as well as 37 children and 1,838 adults whose sex is yet unknown lost their lives. 

However, these numbers could go up as the commission said actual figures are “considerably higher”. 

Russia has committed several war crimes in Ukraine
Russia has committed several war crimes following the invasion of Ukraine

As Russia continues its aggression, Ukraine will hope the European Parliament’s resolution will bring tangible results. 

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