WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) released the following statement in response to today’s attack on former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov in Moscow. Nemtsov was attacked from behind at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport as he returned from a trip to the United States. He identified his attackers as members of the “Nashi” pro-Kremlin youth group.
“I value the discussion Mr. Nemtsov and I had prior to the Helsinki Commission event Tuesday. I was disturbed to learn that he was attacked today at a Moscow airport upon his return to Russia after suggesting at the event that top Kremlin advisers, including Vladislav Surkov, be blacklisted from the United States.
“In the attack on Mr. Nemtsov, occurring at a major international airport, it would seem there would be ample evidence and eyewitnesses to facilitate a thorough investigation.
“At the Helsinki Commission, we rely greatly on the personal testimony of people like Mr. Nemtsov who have direct experience and expertise on their own country’s compliance with international human rights commitments. We salute their courage. These people should be able to speak the truth here, and in their home countries, without fearing retribution.”