The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved a bill asking the State Department to determine whether Russia falls under criteria of a state sponsor of terrorism, potentially opening a way stricter sanctions.

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved a bill asking the State Department to determine whether Russia falls under criteria of a state sponsor of terrorism, potentially opening a way stricter sanctions.The pretentiously titled ‘Stopping Malign Activities from Russian Terrorism (SMART) Act’ could potentially bring the already strained relations between Moscow and Washington to a new low.

Introduced by Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) in April, it requires the Secretary of State to give “appropriate congressional committees” a straight answer on whether Russia could be designated a sponsor of terrorism.The bill also requires the State Department to determine and report to Congress whether the militia in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics in eastern Ukraine can be considered “foreign terrorist organizations.” The report should be presented “no later than 90 days” after the proposed law comes into force, should it pass in both Senate and the House and be signed by the president.