WASHINGTON – At the Center for American Progress Action Fund today, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, delivered a major address on U.S.-Russian relations and key issues between the two nations.
The Senator’s full speech and answers to questions from the audience can be found at this link.
In concluding his speech, Senator Cardin said the following:
“We are very much for the Russian people. But we want their country to reflect the values that are universal – basic human rights, anti-corruption.
“I just want to make it clear that this Senator will continue to work across party lines, will continue to reach out to any one of my colleagues to work together so that we can stand up for America’s strength – our values – and for the right type of relationship with Russia.
“We know we have to engage Russia. We understand that. But when you engage Russia, recognize that they’re not our friend – that they’re trying to bring down our system of government. Approach them with strength, and with resolve, and be willing to lead our international coalition that needs us to stand strong against Russia.
“That’s our challenge. That’s what the Congress – the independent Article One branch of government – will have to stand for in trying to create the right relationship between the United States and Russia.”
Senator Cardin is the author or lead Democrat on three pieces of relevant legislation:
- Calling for an independent, nonpartisan Commission to investigate Russia’s interference in our democratic system;
- Comprehensive sanctions and other actions to counter Russian hostility;
- Requiring Congressional review before the Executive Branch can lift currents sanctions against Russia, similar to the Congressional process leading up to the Iran nuclear deal.
In Case You Missed It: Cardin Statement on General Flynn Resignation
“General Flynn’s resignation does not obviate the need for a broad investigation into Russia’s interference into the 2016 election and this administration’s opaque relationship with the Kremlin. I have significant questions about what President Trump knew about Mr. Flynn’s communications with Russia and when he knew it. I also have questions about the Trump campaign’s communication with Russian officials throughout last year’s election period.
“I welcome the work of various Senate committees to look into these issues and believe that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has a crucial role to play on these issues. We also need an independent commission to investigate Russia’s interference in the election. Flynn’s resignation clearly shows a need for such a commission and I urge Republicans and Democrats to come together in support of my legislation towards that end.”