Declare Russia a terrorist state now
It’s time to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism and boot it out of the United Nations. This week, about 15 percent of Ukraine was illegally annexed by Moscow following fake referenda, gas pipelines to Europe were sabotaged and war crimes continued to mount, including genocide, nuclear blackmail, food blackmail and the forced removal of 2 million Ukrainian citizens, to Russia, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
How can a nation-state with a rap sheet that long be granted any standing geopolitically? Congress agrees and recently passed a resolution to designate the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism — as is the case for Iran, North Korea, Syria and Cuba.
However, the Biden White House, notably Secretary of State Antony Blinken, is holding out. He says this would require America to sanction U.S. allies doing business with Moscow and would prevent a diplomatic solution.
But why should anyone be doing business with this regime? Was diplomacy a priority when Hitler was murdering millions? And does anybody in the world really think that Russian President Vladimir Putin can be negotiated with?
After Sweden reported explosions near the Nord Stream pipeline, the European Union limply announced more sanctions. This signals, once again, a lapse in perception and vigilance against the reality that Putin weaponizes everything.
For instance, the flood of young Russian men fleeing his partial mobilization may have been weaponized. An estimated 200,000 Russians have left the country, but how many posing as draft dodgers will become “Trojan Horse” saboteurs, setting up cells inside Europe? This is a possibility that has yet to be raised publicly, but should be, given the Kremlin’s evil expertise.
On Sept. 26, Putin’s war escalated after explosions disabled gas pipelines beneath the Baltic Sea linking Russia to Germany and began spewing methane and gas, equivalent to a small country’s annual emissions. “This is an act of sabotage — an act which likely means a further step of escalation of the situation in Ukraine,” declared Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. NATO called it sabotage, U.S. officials dubbed it “apparent sabotage” and Russia blamed America.
An investigation will take months, but the damage suspiciously occurred at a location just outside NATO territory near Denmark. (If inside the territory, the attack would have constituted an act of war against NATO itself.) Also missing from most news stories is the fact that the same day of the “simultaneous accidents,” Russia’s Gazprom announced that it will sanction Ukraine, which will lead to the shutdown of its still-operating Ukrainian gas pipeline that serves Eastern and Central Europe and, indirectly, Ukraine. That leaves only two lines beneath the Black Sea that links Russia to Turkey, and southeastern Europe, the Balkans and Turkey.
The pipeline sabotage news jolted markets as well as political capitals. Germany and Denmark immediately stated that the lines were shut down anyway and new sources of supply will get Europeans through the winter. But that won’t be the case if Putin shuts down all remaining pipelines to intimidate Europe. Now NATO must scramble to provide protection for Europe’s critical infrastructure from pipelines to refineries, telecommunications cables, liquified natural gas ports and pipelines, wind farms, solar parks, nuclear reactors, power plants, transmission lines and water treatment facilities. Nothing will be safe. “The Baltic Sea ‘leaks’ were `a terrorist attack planned by Russia and an act of aggression towards E.U.,’” the Ukrainian government tweeted.
Surely, the piecemeal shutdown or sabotage of Europe’s energy system is reason enough to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism and remove it from membership in the United Nations, where it has weaponized the Security Council by vetoing any attempt to impede its terrorism and warfare.
Diane Francis is a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington at its Eurasia Center. She is editor at large at National Post in Canada, a columnist with Kyiv Post, author of 10 books and specializes in geopolitics, white-collar crime, technology and business. She writes a newsletter about America twice weekly on Substack.