Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Trump Sees Fake Russia During Meeting With Former KGB Agent Putin While Cohen Sees Real Russia at OSCE PA in Minsk

July 11, 2017
Press Release

[WASHINGTON, DC] – While at the annual Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly last week in Minsk, Belarus, Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission), witnessed the real Russia that votes against human rights, democratic values, free elections, and the territorial integrity of nations, while President Trump saw the fake Russia during his meeting at the G20 Summit in Germany with former KGB agent and Russian President Vladimir Putin:

“While President Trump said it was ‘an honor’ to meet with President Putin for two hours at the G20 (G19?) Summit in Germany and that they could work together on many issues, including a cybersecurity unit to protect against election hacking, I was in Minsk at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and witnessed the detestable votes and actions of the Russian Federation. Those votes and actions [summarized below] were consistently counter to human rights, democratic values, free elections, and the territorial integrity of nations. The Russian Federation refused to acknowledge LGBTQ persecutions in Chechnya, they denied the existence of human rights violations in Belarus, and they denied any territorial violations in Eastern Ukraine. Many times, the Russian Federation was the only country to vote against such resolutions. Whatever was said to President Trump by President Putin during their meeting was not the real Russia. The real Russia was exposed at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Minsk. What President Trump heard in his discussions with Putin about how the United States and Russia get along very well was a false KGB narrative. And our President fell for it.”

Video of Congressman Cohen speaking in in support of a Swedish resolution condemning human rights and democratic violations in the Russian Federation, territorial violations in Crimea and human rights violations in Chechnya and Belarus can be found here. Congressman Cohen also criticized the Russian Federation for its attack on our electoral system in support of the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

At last week’s OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Congressman Cohen witnessed the following:

The delegation from the Russian Federation continued to undermine the guiding values that the OSCE was founded around that were established in the 1975 Helsinki Final Act.  Russian delegates attempted to undermine the fundamental values of human rights, the right to territorial integrity, and the right of free and fair elections.

At the Parliamentary Assembly, the Russian delegation refused to admit that they were a party to the conflict in Ukraine.  The Russian delegation offered counter-accusations that the Assembly was ignoring real threats and that they should visit Crimea to see that “the allegedly ‘occupied’ Crimea is happy to be part of great Russia.”  The Russian delegation tried to block the Ukraine resolution from coming to the floor but they failed in that ambition and the resolution was ultimately adopted.

The Russian delegation successfully blocked a resolution on the violation of human rights in their country and denied that the persecution of LGBT persons, specifically gay men, in Chechnya was taking place.

Often the Russian Federation stood alone being the sole voice in opposition to the values that unify the members of the OSCE.