Ukrainians in Portugal call on MPs to recognise Russia as State sponsor of international terrorism

Ukrainians in Portugal call on MPs to recognise Russia as State sponsor of international terrorism

Request follows similar appeal to NATO countries by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Pavlo Sadokha, long-term head of the Association of Ukrainians in Portugal, has called on members of parliament in Portugal to recognise Russia as “a state sponsor of international terrorism”.

His intervention comes in the context “that measures be taken to prevent further attacks”, explains Lusa.

In a statement posted over social media, Sadokha also asked the speaker of parliament and the leaders of the various parliamentary groups to recognise the Wagner Group as an “organisation involved in terrorist acts” in order to take “all appropriate measures to prevent further terrorist attacks by Russia against Ukraine and other countries”.

On Monday, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy himself called on the parliaments of all NATO countries to declare Russia a “terrorist state” and called for more air and missile defence systems.

In the statement coming out of Portugal, Pavlo Sadokha stressed that the adoption of such a resolution “would be an important step towards diplomatic support for Ukraine, its citizens and the restoration of justice”.

He said that since the beginning of the “armed aggression” in February, the “Russian Federation has used terror tactics against the civilian population, such as indiscriminate bombing of cities and towns, the use of prohibited ammunition, summary executions for ethnic cleansing, arbitrary detentions, sexual violence, kidnappings, forced deportation and attacks against civilians.”

He also highlights that “some of the main perpetrators of terrorist attacks against the civilian population initiated by the Russian state are private military networks of mercenaries, prominent among which is the Wagner Group.”

“Assigning Russia the status of a state sponsor of international terrorism would play a crucial role in strengthening sanctions, Russia’s economic, financial and diplomatic isolation and Russia’s subsequent inability to finance the brutal war against Ukraine,” the statement continued.

For Pavlo Sadokha recognising Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” would be “a strong signal in public opinion, discouraging any public, political and economic support” by other states, organisations and trade deals with Russia or “assisting it in sanctions evasion schemes”.

Yesterday, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in a videoconference address to the 68th annual session of the NATO parliamentary assembly in Madrid that Russia is carrying out a “genocidal policy” in Ukraine that targets the civilian population or energy and water supply infrastructure, with effects similar to those of weapons of mass destruction.

The Ukrainian president called on the parliaments of the 30 NATO countries to declare Russia a “terrorist state”, as Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and the Czech Republic have already done.

Mr Zelenskyy also called for the maintenance and strengthening of sanctions on Russia because of “the terror” it is causing Ukrainians and help to “increase the protection” of Ukraine, namely more air and missile defence systems, “in sufficient quantity and quality”.