EU could consider Russia a Terrorist State, resolution to be voted in Parliament

Lorenzo Bagnato

18 Novembre 2022 - 13:55

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The European Parliament will vote on a resolution to consider Russia a terrorist state next week, here’s what it could mean.

EU could consider Russia a Terrorist State, resolution to be voted in Parliament

Relations between the West and Russia keep deteriorating, a predictable development after the missiles that struck Polish territory. European leaders had already blamed Russia even if the missile came from Ukraine’s anti-air system, while NATO and the US urged patience.

On Friday, EU spokesperson Delphine Collard announced that the European Parliament is preparing a resolution to condemn Russia as a “terrorist state”. It will be voted on in Strasbourg on November 23rd, according to Collard.

The EU list of terrorist organizations currently include Hezbollah, the Mujahideen and the Kurdistan Liberation Army. It seems to mirror the list of US recognized terrorist states, but we do not know if America will follow through with Russia as well.

The European Parliament is a body composed of 705 MPs from all member states. They are formed in groups according to their political affiliation, just like a regular Parliament. Resolutions are voted upon with an absolute majority. This means that Hungary, an ambiguous Russian ally within the EU, would not be able to veto the resolution.

At the same time, however, resolutions do not have legally binding effects like the decisions taken by the Commission. A resolution merely “asks” the Commission to decide upon a certain matter, and EU member states would have veto power.

What does it mean to be a terrorist state?

If and only if both EU Parliament and Commission agree on considering Russia a terrorist state, a series of sanctions and policies would be applied.

First and foremost, Russian assets would be freezed and seized by the European Union. So far, this has happened only circumstantially to some Russian billionaires, but the estate of the Russian government is still intact. This includes, crucially, Russian reserves in European banks, which Moscow can access to and keep funding the war.

The criteria for listing an entity as a terrorist organization, according to the European Union official site, are:

  • initiation of investigations or prosecution for a terrorist act or an attempt to carry out or facilitate such an act
  • condemnation for any of those actions

It would be interesting to see what the European Parliament considers as a “terrorist act”. It would likely be the missile blast in Polish territory that killed two, whose blame falls on Russia according to EU leaders.

The EU spokeperson mentioned the civilian casualties in Ukraine by Russian hands as well.

In any case, it is unlikely that the resolution will follow through, especially with the interference of Hungary. It would only serve the purpose of sending a message.

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