The Latvian parliament, the Saeima, has voted to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, Latvian news agency Delfi reported on Aug 11.
A total of 67 MPs out of the 100-seat legislature voted in favor of the resolution on Russia's targeted military attacks on civilians and public spaces in Ukraine.
The document states that the violence that Russian invasion forces inflict on civilians in order to achieve political goals is terrorism, and Russia itself is a state supporting terrorism.
The Saeima of Latvia also called on other countries to pass similar resolutions.
The resolution says that Latvia considers Russia's actions in Ukraine as a targeted genocide against the Ukrainian people. It also notes the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine since 2014, including millions of refugees, rocket attacks on civilian cities in Ukraine, the killing of Ukrainian prisoners of war in Olenivka, as well as support for separatism in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, and in Crimea.
Latvian MPs said the Kremlin was purposefully persecuting the Ukrainian civilian population, using torture and violence to occupy Ukraine, as well as demoralizing and paralyzing the ability of the armed forces and people of Ukraine to act.
The document calls on partner countries to strengthen sanctions against Russia, as well as to increase military, financial, humanitarian and diplomatic support for Ukraine.
In addition, the Latvian Saeima expects EU member states to immediately suspend tourist visas and limit the issuing of entry visas to citizens of Russia and Belarus.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba thanked the Latvian Saeima for recognizing the Russian Federation as a sponsor of terrorism, calling this decision “a timely step.”
“Russia has long earned this status with its actions in Ukraine and beyond,” wrote Kuleba on Twitter. “Ukraine calls on other states and organizations to follow its example.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on April 24 called on the world community to declare the Russian Federation a state sponsor of terrorism, and its armed forces a terrorist organization.
In the United States, listing as a country as a State Sponsor of Terrorism allows additional categories of sanctions to be imposed on it, including restrictions on U.S. foreign aid, bans on the export and sale of defense products, export controls on dual-use goods, as well as financial and other restrictions.
The current U.S. list of countries sponsoring terrorism includes North Korea, Syria, Cuba and Iran.