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Chair Cardin Statement on ‘Elections’ in Russia

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee, issued a statement condemning Russia’s undemocratic presidential elections.

“I condemn the recent so-called presidential election in Russia as neither democratic, free, nor fair. I do not recognize the results as legitimate. As a member of the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Russia is bound by international commitments regarding human rights and the rule of law.

"In 2020, Vladimir Putin orchestrated a phony 'referendum' to change Russia’s constitution to permit himself to serve beyond his two consecutive terms which conclude on May 7, 2024. Mr. Putin may remain the leader of Russia, but he should not be considered a democratically elected leader. Putin was so afraid of opposition to his authoritarian rule, he oversaw the death of Russia’s best-known opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, weeks before the election, and the continuing unjust imprisonment of another opposition leader, Vladimir Kara-Murza.

"He has sought to eliminate all independent news media, civil society, and political parties in the country. I also denounce Putin’s decision to administer elections in non-Russian territory, including Crimea, which is part of Ukraine, and other temporarily occupied areas of Ukraine. The Russian people deserve better; they deserve to participate in a free and democratic election free from coercion."