Graham Wants to Give Russia a New Designation

( — South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is once again calling for the United States to designate Russia a state sponsor of terror following the death last Friday of Alexei Navalny, Politico reported.

Navalny’s death in an Arctic penal colony was confirmed by his spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, on Saturday. While Russian prison officials claimed that Navalny succumbed to “sudden death syndrome,” the prevailing belief among Navalny’s team and Western leaders is that the opposition leader was murdered, a belief shared by Senator Graham.

While appearing on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, the South Carolina senator described Navalny as “one of the bravest people I ever met,” and suggested that he must have known when he returned to Russia that Putin would have him killed, adding, “and he was murdered by Putin.”

Senator Graham told host Robert Costa that he spoke with two Democrat colleagues about introducing legislation to designate Russia a state terrorism sponsor to “make them pay a price for killing Navalny.”

President Biden also blamed Vladimir Putin for Navalny’s death in a press conference last Friday, describing his death as proof of the Russian president’s “brutality.”

Currently, the United States has designated four countries as state sponsors of terror, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria. Under the designation, countries face heavy sanctions, including a ban on weapons exports and purchases as well as restrictions on foreign aid.

According to Senator Graham, legislation to include Russia on the list could be introduced in the coming days.

Graham noted that when President Biden met with Vladimir Putin in Geneva in 2021, he warned the Russian president that there would be “devastating consequences” for the Kremlin if Navalny died in prison.

Graham told Costa that he agreed with the president and said the price Russia should pay was designating it a state sponsor of terror.

Senator Graham previously called for Russia to be designated a state sponsor of terrorism one year ago after Vice President Harris warned at the 2023 Munich Security Conference that Russia was committing crimes against humanity in Ukraine.

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