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NATO assembly urges members to declare Russia ‘terrorist regime’

The consultative body also demanded additional rounds of military assistance to UkraineNATO assembly urges members to declare Russia ‘terrorist regime’

NATO assembly urges members to declare Russia ‘terrorist regime’

FILE PHOTO: Flags of NATO member countries are seen outside NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, May 27, 2022. ©  AP / Olivier Matthys

NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly has adopted a largely symbolic resolution calling on member nations to label Russia a “terrorist” state, claiming Moscow represents a “direct threat” to “Euro-Atlantic security” while demanding more military support to Kiev and an end to restrictions on the “forward deployment of NATO forces.”

The non-binding declaration was passed by the assembly on Monday, with the body warning that “the Euro-Atlantic area is no longer at peace and that the global security environment has deteriorated rapidly” amid continued fighting in Eastern Europe, going on to denounce Russia’s military operation “in the strongest terms.”

The resolution made a series of requests to NATO members, asking them to “state clearly that the Russian state under the current regime is a terrorist one,” and to “increase military, intelligence, financial, training and humanitarian support to Ukraine,” including by “accelerating” arms shipments.

The NATO bloc must “sustain this support for as long as it takes for Ukraine to prevail,” the resolution added, also asking that any existing restrictions on the “forward deployment” of Western forces along Russian borders be declared “null and void.”

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Washington alone has authorized nearly $20 billion in ‘lethal aid’ to Kiev since President Joe Biden took office in 2021, with much of that approved after Russia’s military operation kicked off in February. NATO allies have acknowledged concerns that the arms flooding Ukraine’s chaotic battlefield have not been properly tracked, with the new resolution stressing the need to ensure the “traceability of the weapons delivered.”

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky addressed the gathering in a video message before the latest resolution was passed, praising the alliance for its military aid and for helping his country to “defend [itself] in this war.”

The Parliamentary Assembly’s resolutions are not enforceable among NATO members and are intended to merely advise the alliance on pressing issues. The body is “independent from NATO” and has “no direct role of oversight” over its policies, according to its website. Its newly elected president, French Senator Joelle Garriaud-Maylam, took a harsh stance toward Moscow on Monday, claiming that Russian leaders “must be judged as terrorists in front of international tribunals.”

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In addition to declaring Moscow a “terrorist” state and other symbolic measures, the Parliamentary Assembly said NATO countries should work to create an “international tribunal” to prosecute Russian officials for alleged war crimes and compel “full reparation of damage loss or injury” linked to the conflict.

While Monday’s resolution was largely focused on Russia and the conflict in Ukraine, it took more than one detour to single out Beijing, urging the alliance to develop a “common allied response to the increasing assertiveness of China.” The document called for “constructive dialogue,” yet also went on to denounce Beijing’s alleged “systemic challenge to Euro-Atlantic security” and “attempts to subvert the rules-based international order.”

The NATO PA declaration came after a similar resolution was adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) last month. Russia left the European NGO in March, calling it a “convenient platform for NATO’s information and political campaigns.”

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While Kiev has repeatedly urged the West to declare Russia a “state sponsor of terror,” only a handful of countries – including Estonia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic – have heeded the call, and their actions have been limited to symbolic gestures. Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman previously slammed a similar move by Latvia as nothing but “savage xenophobia.” Those with the power to enforce anti-terror sanctions against other states, specifically the US, have so far refused to take that step.

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