The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted a resolution designating Russia as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ over the war in Ukraine.
Legislators at the European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution calling Russia as "a state sponsor of terrorism and as a state which uses means of terrorism" over the military operation Moscow began in Ukraine on February 24, with the declared aim of "de-Nazifying" the ex-Soviet republic.
Since the onset of the offensive, the United States and its European allies have imposed waves of unprecedented economic sanctions against Moscow while supplying large consignments of heavy weaponry to Kiev. The Kremlin has time and again warned the sanctions and the supplies will prolong the war.
The strongly-worded resolution, with 494 votes in favor, 58 against and 44 abstentions, was adopted during the monthly plenary session in Strasbourg and the session was broadcast live on the European Parliament's website. It claims Russia's military strikes on Ukrainian civilian targets such as energy infrastructure, hospitals, schools and shelters violated international law.
The designation, however, is largely symbolic, as the European Union does not have a legal framework in place to support the move and currently cannot officially designate states as sponsors of terrorism.
As a result of all this, the European Parliament has called on member states to develop a brand-new legal framework for the EU to officially designate an entire country as a sponsor of terrorism.
"For the time being, the European Union has no such regulation like, for example, the Americans, who have a special law on the designation of the states which are sponsoring terrorism," said Andrius Kubilius, one of the lawmakers who authored the resolution.
Separately, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the move by the European Parliament.
EU 'sponsor of idiocy': Russia
Moscow reacted angrily to the provocative decision by the European Parliament later in the day, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova saying, "I propose designating the European Parliament as a sponsor of idiocy."
She is also under EU sanctions for what the bloc claims to be spreading pro-war propaganda.
Earlier this year, national chambers in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic had voted to apply similar designations against Russia.