US designates Russian ultra-nationalist group as terrorist organization
WASHINGTON: The United States on Monday designated the ultranationalist Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) group as a terrorist organization, in what the State Department called the first such move against a white supremacist group.
“These designations are unprecedented,” Nathan Sales, Coordinator for U.S. Counter Terrorism, said in a statement.
“RIM is still very much in the business of providing training to like-minded Neo-Nazis and white supremacists across Europe. We know that they have recruited individuals from other countries in Europe and continue to do so,” he said in a teleconference with reporters.
The move freezes any assets that RIM may have in the United States and it denies it any access to the U.S. financial system, Sales said and added that the measure would not be just a symbolic one even if the group may not have any assets in the U.S. because these measures have a ‘significant crippling effect’ on such groups’ ability to move money internationally.
Monday’s measure comes after the State Department in its latest annual terrorism report last November said ethnically and racially driven terrorism had risen alarmingly in 2018 both worldwide and in the United States.
Russian Imperial Movement’s members cast themselves as Russian Orthodox nationalists who favor restoring the monarchy and privileging the interests of ethnic Russians, Ukrainians and Belarussians. – Reuters