WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. 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) issued the following statement regarding this morning’s explosions on the Moscow subway system:
“We and the American people stand with the Russian people in sympathy and solidarity in the wake of this tragic loss of lives. We are encouraged by Prime Minister Putin’s call to find and punish the criminals responsible for this barbaric act.”
“The architects of Russia’s North Caucasus policy don’t ride the metro, especially not at eight in the morning. These attacks targeted innocent working class people on their way to jobs and schools. If you improve security on these trains, the killers will simply find a softer target. While this attack hit Moscow, it serves as a cry for help to end the violence and poverty in Chechnya and neighboring regions that engender the desperation that makes these sorts of incidents more likely.”
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.