The European Parliament on Wednesday recognised Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism for its invasion on Ukraine.
Russia had launched an invasion of Ukraine on February 24. The Kremlin had described its actions as a “special operation” to demilitarise and “de-Nazify” Ukraine. However, Kyiv and several Western nations have said that this is a baseless pretext for a war of choice by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During Wednesday’s session, the European lawmakers said that the deliberate attacks and atrocities committed by Russian forces and their proxies against civilians in Ukraine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and other serious violations of international and humanitarian law amount to acts of terror and constitute war crimes.
The Parliament adopted the resolution with 494 votes in favour, 58 against, and 44 abstentions.
Although the European Union cannot officially designate states as sponsors of terrorism, the European Parliament has urged the 27-nation bloc to put in place a legal framework and impose significant restrictive measures against Moscow.
The bloc has already imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia for its war in the eastern European country.
“Parliament calls on the European Union to further isolate Russia internationally, including when it comes to Russia’s membership of international organisations and bodies such as the United Nations Security Council,” an official press release said.
Commenting on the resolution, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova remarked that the European Parliament should be designated as a “sponsor of idiocy”, Reuters reported.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the decision. “Russia must be isolated at all levels and held accountable in order to end its long-standing policy of terrorism in Ukraine and across the globe,” Zelensky tweeted.