The Kremlin threatened Tuesday to break off diplomatic relations with Washington if the U.S. declares Russia a sponsor of terrorism.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the proposed designation “naive” and a violation of international law.
“The logical result of such a step becomes a break in diplomatic relations,” she said. “Washington risks finally crossing the point of no return – with all the ensuing consequences. This should be well understood in Washington.”
Last week, the Senate passed a nonbinding resolution urging Secretary of State Antony Blinken to label Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged the U.S. to adopt the designation.
Blinken, however, has balked at the plan, saying that current sanctions are similar to what would be imposed with the designation.
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►Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles reneged on a plan to send 10 tanks to Ukraine, saying the equipment was in poor condition.
►The first cargo ship to leave Ukraine in more than five months has run into bad weather in the Black Sea and will arrive late to Istanbul. The Razoni, which left Odesa on Monday, is now expected to reach Istanbul early Wednesday, said Turkish Rear Admiral Ozcan Altunbulak.
►The death toll from a Russian missile attack on Vinnytsia grew to 27. Local officials said a man died from severe burns after 20 days in the hospital. Ninety people were hospitalized after the missile struck downtown of the city in west-central Ukraine on July 14.
U.S. sanctions on associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin are getting more personal.
After previously declining to sanction Putin’s reputed girlfriend, reportedly out of concern about escalating tensions, the Biden administration took that step Tuesday when it froze Alina Kabaeva’s visa.
The Treasury Department said it also imposed property restrictions on Kabaeva, an ex-Olympic gymnast and former member of the state Duma whom the department said has “a close relationship to Putin.” Treasury added that Kabaeva, 39, is the head of a Russian national media company that promotes the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The U.K. sanctioned Kabaeva in May and the European Union imposed travel and asset restrictions on her in June. In April, the U.S. sanctioned Putin’s adult daughters, Katerina Vladimirovna Tikhonova and Maria Vladimirovna Vorontsova.
“Together with our allies, the United States will also continue to choke off revenue and equipment underpinning Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.
At a time when Russia finds itself increasingly isolated because of its war in Ukraine, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s highly debated visit to Taiwan is presenting Moscow an opportunity to strengthen ties with a key ally.
The Kremlin did not pass on that chance Tuesday, as spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the possibility of Pelosi’s trip “extremely provocative,” adding that…