Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a request to US President Joe Biden in one of their recent phone conversations to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, according to a person familiar with the matter, News.az reports citing RIA Novosti.
Zelensky's ask didn't come with the same level of urgency with which he's requested Western leaders provide additional arms and financial assistance, the person said, but he did make it as part of an effort to scale up international condemnation of Russia.
Biden did not offer a firm commitment to Zelensky's request, which was first reported by the Washington Post.
US officials have previously declined to rule out adding Russia to the list of state sponsors of terror, which right now includes North Korea, Syria, Cuba and Iran.
“I don’t have any assessment of that at this point in time. Obviously, we’re continuing to look at the actions on the ground and the actions of leaders,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at the White House last month.
Adding Russia would be a dramatic move that would escalate economic sanctions and have secondary effects on countries still doing business with Moscow.