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Kremlin comments on Biden’s reluctance to blacklist Russia

It’s mind-boggling that the issue of designating Moscow as a state sponsor of terrorism is even on the agenda, Dmitry Peskov has said

Moscow welcomes US President Joe Biden’s opposition to designating Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

Of course, it’s a good thing that the US president said ‘no‘,” Peskov told the business outlet RBK, referring to Biden’s response to a question he was asked while speaking to reporters at the White House about whether he believes Russia should be branded a state sponsor of terrorism.

The very fact that this question was asked is horrendous,” he said, adding that the existence of such an issue is “very difficult to wrap one’s mind around.”

The official, however, cautioned that such a statement from the US leader could not be viewed as a signal of Washington embracing a softer stance on Russia amid the ongoing Ukraine conflict. Nor would he link Biden’s statement to the recent visit of inspectors from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency to the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant.

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Moscow names condition for ‘normalizing’ relations with US

Two US senators – Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – had previously urged Biden to endorse such a move in order to ramp up pressure on Moscow.

The status would entail, among other things, certain controls over exports of dual-use items, and a number of financial restrictions. Only four countries are currently designated as state sponsors of terrorism: North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and Syria.

Moscow has warned that such a step would mark “a point of no return” in relations between the two countries. In August, Aleksandr Darichev, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s North American Department, signaled that the label would entail “the most serious collateral damage for bilateral relations, up to downgrading of their level and even severance of all ties.”

The US State Department is also apparently against the idea. In August, Politico reported that the agency quietly approached congressional offices, warning that the designation could derail the Ukrainian grain deal and impact Washington’s remaining economic ties with Moscow.

https://ift.tt/ayN8EtD 06, 2022 at 03:50PM
from RT – Daily news

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