WASHINGTON–Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) hosted a lunch meeting today with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko and Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey I. Kislyak. The participants discussed a wide-range of security issues, including the role of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Russia’s relationship with NATO and Afghanistan.
“Despite our recent differences, the OSCE has proven a useful forum to engage Russia on issues of mutual interest. I was pleased to hear firsthand from Deputy Foreign Minister Grushko about the Russian concept for a ‘new security architecture.’ The situations in Afghanistan and in several OSCE participating states, including Georgia, underline the need to continue our open dialogue on security-related concerns and explore ways we can work together to prevent conflict,” said Chairman Cardin.
“Today’s meeting illustrates that we are serious about continuing engagement with the Russian Federation. The differences between Russia and NATO allies on the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, missile defense, and NATO’s eastward expansion have heightened distrust between both sides. Restoring trust with Russia will allow us to pursue common security goals and uphold international commitments,” said Co-Chairman Hastings.