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Corker: Series of Destabilizing Russian Actions to Blame for Deteriorating Relationship with the U.S.

WASHINGTON – At a hearing on the U.S. approach to Russia, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, cited a series of destabilizing Russian actions that are to blame for the deterioration of relations with the U.S. The committee heard testimony from Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Dr. Michael Carpenter, David Satter of the Hudson Institute, and Vladimir Kara-Murza of the Open Russia Movement.

“Russia has invaded Georgia and Ukraine, striking at them in ways designed to prevent their integration into the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance,” Corker said. “Russia has altered the human rights landscape within its own country, decreasing democracy and begging questions about the future of governance not just in Moscow, but across the federation. Moreover, Russia joined the civil war in Syria and began militarizing the Arctic."

He also called for a “new strategy” in response to Russian aggression that will protect American interests and reduce the risks for confrontation in the future.

“Discussions about the violations of norms must be paired with conversations about ways of effectively setting boundaries and engaging with Russia in order make our world more stable, and, ultimately, to serve U.S. national interests,” said Corker. “I look forward to hearing today how we can recognize the new realities of the U.S.-Russia relationship and implement a new strategy that puts us on a better trajectory.”

Corker coauthored two laws to impose sanctions on Russia and support the people of Ukraine after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. He also has denounced Russia’s targeting of civilians in Syria, urged the State Department to add individuals who are responsible for human rights abuses in Russia to the Magnitsky sanctions list, and called on the U.S. to hold Russia accountable for violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

For archived footage and full witness testimony, click here.