Latvia’s parliament condemned Russia on Thursday as a “state sponsor of terrorism” due to its war on Ukraine, prompting Russia to call the country “neo-Nazis” and threaten economic and political measures against them.

Beyond calling out Russia for “terrorism” related to their war on Ukraine, Latvia’s parliament also called out other countries to join in on denouncing Russia for their actions in the “targeted genocide against the Ukrainian people,” according to Reuters.

Russian officials are indignant and angry at the condemnation, claiming that there is no evidence that they participate in terrorism even as over 40 countries continue to document the atrocities done by Russia against Ukrainian civilians, the Daily Beast reported.

“Given that there are no facts behind this decision but only savage xenophobia, the authors of this idea should be called nothing but neo-Nazis,” Maria Zakharova, Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, said.

“The toughest economic and political measures should be taken [against Latvia],” government official Andrey Klishas said.

As Russia calls for retaliation for the declaration, Latvia’s website for their parliament, Saeima, was taken down in a Distributed Denial of Service attack that left the site inaccessible. The country’s Computer Emergency Response Team claimed that Russian agents had overloaded the site with traffic to the point where it could not function.

“The Saeima has adopted a statement in which Russia is recognized as a country that supports terrorism,” they said in a statement. “There is a large-scale DDoS attack against the Saeima's resources by activists supporting RU aggression.”

Latvia is not the first country to consider calling Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism”: American legislators on both sides of the aisle have been pushing for that label since the beginning of the war, with Senators and Congresspeople pressuring the Biden administration for a stronger stance against Russia.

“The United States must use every tool we have to stop Russia from its violent aggression in Ukraine,” California Rep. Ted Lieu said. “Russia supports proxies conducting terrorism against civilians around the globe, from Syria to Ukraine. By designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, this legislation increases consequences on Putin’s murderous behavior.”

The United States has only declared four other countries as such: North Korea, Syria, Iran, and Cuba.

The Kremlin and many Russian officials have condemned the country of Latvia after their parliament issued a statement declaring Russia to be a "state sponsor of terrorism" for their war in Ukraine. This is a representational image. Social Income/Unsplash.

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