Estonian parliament declares Russia a terrorist state
The Estonian parliament declared Russia a terrorist state on Tuesday, making it the third national legislature to do so.
Eighty-eight out of 101 MPs in the Riigikogu voted in favor of the statement, which expressed support for the investigations launched by the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court of crimes committed on the territory of Ukraine by Russia. Ten MPs were absent and three abstained from voting.
“Supporting the Ukrainian Parliament’s appeal to countries and international organizations, the Riigikogu declares the Russian regime a terrorist state and the Russian Federation a state that supports terrorism,” the statement reads. “The Riigikogu calls on the international community to adopt similar declarations.”
The Estonian parliament is only the third national one to condemn the Kremlin in such strong terms, following its two Baltic neighbors Lithuania and Latvia. The move comes a week after Ukraine condemned Russia as a terrorist state in an urgent meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.
“Russia has proven once again that this is a terrorist state that must be deterred in the strongest possible ways,” Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.N., told Estonian MPs in the opening remarks of a debate that was overshadowed by missile strikes on Kyiv and other cities on the same day.
While other European countries have been reluctant to follow the Baltics, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted on October 13 to adopt a resolution recognizing Russia as a terrorist state.
However, U.S. President Joe Biden said last week that he thinks Russia should not be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism, even though Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had requested him to do so. “It is not the most effective or strongest path forward, as we have said many times before, to hold Russia accountable,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
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