Does the US designate Russia as an *authoritarian state*?

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The Politicus
Mar 09, 2022 08:05 AM 0 Answers
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Russia is frequently called authoritarian - in discourse by western politicians, in the news and in casual discussions. Is it however officially designated by the US (or any western country) as an authoritarian state? Is there such a designation (like there are designations of terrorist organization or state sponsor of terrorism)? If yes, what are the legal consequences implied by such a designation? - I would expect that this implies at least

  • restrictions on doing business with/in such a state
  • asylum rights for the citizens of such a state, claiming to disagree with the state authority

I suppose that there existed designations that applied, e.g., to the Soviet Union or Cuba. Notably, the Soviet or Cuban citizens who reached US soil had rather straightforward access to refugee status - Moscow on the Hudson gives a classical depiction of such a defection, but there have been thousands of people who did similar things, the high-profile defectors including such personalities as Viktor Korchnoi, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolph Nureyev.

From hearsay: it seems that this was grounded in the designation of the USSR as not free: after the fall of the Soviet Union and opening of its borders, too many people were able to come to the US and claim refugee status, so the descendants of the USSR were declared free (apparently to these days?).

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