Jan 25, 2010

US Congressmen decry Surkov's role - FINROSFORUM

US Congressmen decry Surkov's role - FINROSFORUM

US congressmen dislike having Surkov as co-chair of "Civil Society"working group

A group of 71 US congressmen, mainly Republicans, have sent a letter to President Barack Obama demanding that the administration withdraw from the working group on civil society of the top-level Russian-American Commission until the Kremlin replaces the group's Russian coordinator, first deputy head of Russia's presidential administration, Vladislav Surkov.

While supporting the setting up of the Commission, Russian human rights defenders expressed discontent with Surkov's appointment as the coordinator of the working group on civil society, associating him with measures to "curtail the freedom of the press, to stifle free competition within the political system, and to build barriers against the development of civil society."

The first sitting of working group "Civil Society" is due in a week in the States. The delegation headed by Vladislav Surkov in on its way from Moscow to Washington. The discontent of American congressmen with Surkov's activities is reported today by the "Russian Newsweek", according to which last December Barack Obama received a letter with sharp criticism of Russia.
The letter was signed by 71 members of the Congress, mainly Republicans. The signatories demand from Washington not to take part in the work of the group on the civil society matters, until the Kremlin replaces Surkov, its Russian co-chair, since he has too compromised himself, as the authors of the letter believe.
See earlier reports: "Statement of the Congress of the United States concerning the alarming situation with proponents of human rights in Russia," "Chairman of European Parliament: EU hopes Russia to stop violence against its human rights defenders."