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What does the designation by the European Parliament of Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” mean? — RT World News

The European Parliament’s non-binding resolution is a public relations effort rooted in the political agenda

On Wednesday, members of the European Parliament adopted a resolution designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. This decision follows a similar vote by the NATO parliamentary committee two days earlier, in response to requests from the Ukrainian delegation.

With NATO, there could have been no other way out, given that the bloc justified its continued existence after the Cold War by constantly insisting on the need to counter Moscow. And would be redundant without the promotion of a “Russian threat”.

But what exactly is the endgame of the European Parliament?

The block doesn’t even have a real “state sponsor of terrorism” designation, and the resolution emphasizes this. “The EU maintains a list of persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts which are subject to sanctions, but the current legal framework, unlike those of countries such as the United States and Canada, does not the designation of a State as a sponsor of terrorism”, one of its lines reads. The resolution is not legally binding and Russia has already been hit with an unprecedented number of sanctions, with more being added all the time. So what does Brussels hope to accomplish, beyond adding to a Western-led PR effort to confuse “Russia” and “terrorism” in the mind of the public?

Parliament has spent the last few years – long before the conflict in Ukraine became heated – referencing Russia alongside real terror groups like IS. “Propaganda pressure on the EU from Russia and Islamic terrorist organizations is increasing, Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs say in a resolution. Strasbourg announced it in October 2016, for example. It’s a particularly blatant mix of “terrorism”, “ISIS”, and “Russia,” since Moscow was then at the forefront of the fight against the Islamic State hotbed in Syria at the invitation of President Bashar Assad, in the wake of Washington training and equipping “Syrian rebels,some of which ended up joining a real jihadist group: Al-Qaeda.

Wednesday’s resolution reverses this story by labeling the Syrian government a terrorist. “Russia has supported and financed terrorist regimes and organizations, including the Assad regime in Syria, to which Russia has supplied arms and in whose defense it has carried out deliberate attacks against the Syrian civilian population”, depending on the resolution.

Likewise, the EU has had eight years to denounce the Western training, equipping and funding of Azov fighters – genuine violent non-state actors in Ukraine, previously portrayed as “neo-Nazis” by the Western press – before they were integrated into the Ukrainian army and renamed freedom fighters against Russia. Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna even pointed out in 2018 that for years the US Congressional funding bill had been stripped of language prohibiting the supply of US weapons and the funding of “a controversial ultra-nationalist militia in Ukraine that has openly accepted neo-Nazis into its ranks.”

While the EU has done nothing to prevent or stop the conflict – for example, by refusing to cut off its own cheap energy supply from Russia and instead insisting that kyiv and its main benefactor, Washington , settle with Moscow – the resolution doubles down on the anti-Russian rhetoric of EU officials. “Russia’s attempt to leverage energy exports as a tool of geopolitical coercion is tantamount to using energy supplies as a weapon,” it reads, ignoring the fact that it is the EU officials who brag about cutting off their own energy supply”for Ukraine.

“The damage to the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines on September 26, 2022 led to significant gas leaks into the Baltic Sea, which also constitutes an environmental attack on the EU”, the resolution also says, implying without evidence that it was indisputably Russia that blew up its own energy infrastructure rather than, say, Western interests seeking to ensure the EU’s dependence on their own gas sales.

An EU country calls Russia a

The block-level resolution is non-binding, which means that it is largely a token decision. French President Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly rejected calls from Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to pin a similar designation on Russia. The same goes for US President Joe Biden, who admitted the move could impact US support for Ukrainian fighters.

America’s past use of the designation “terrorism” tends to conveniently align with its own foreign policy agenda. Iranian opposition group Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MeK) was conveniently delisted from Washington’s official list of terrorist organizations as several senior US officials began visiting the group while talking about regime change Iranian. When former President Donald Trump was trying to claim a victory to secure peace in the Middle East with his Abraham Accords, he dangled the carrot of a state sponsor of terrorism delisting ahead of Sudan s suited Israel. Cuba was removed from the list by former President Barack Obama as he pursued a policy of normalization with Havana, but Trump reinstated the designation, appealing to his electoral base.

So now it’s apparently the EU’s turn to abuse the ‘terrorism’ label and distract from the bloc’s poor choices, under which its citizens continue to suffer.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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