On the Helsinki Summit
“Today’s summit broached crucial issues affecting human rights in many countries, election meddling, the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, and terrorism, among other serious concerns.
“The summit must be just the beginning of an important conversation between the two world powers with the hope of changing, or at least beginning to mitigate, a totally unacceptable status quo on these human rights issues. I pressed Russian lawmakers on these concerns at a bilateral meeting that I led last week in Berlin, and the U.S. must continue to push for improvement in these areas,” Smith said.
In direct contradiction to Putin’s denials of the Russian state interfering in U.S. elections, Smith noted that he has called for the apprehension of the 12 Russian intelligence officers charged with election meddling.
“The Department of Justice should immediately work to Red Notice these officers using the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), so they could be apprehended any time they leave Russia and then transferred to the United States for full prosecution,” Smith said.
“We must work for peace in Syria with immediate and unfettered access to humanitarian aid workers there and accountability for the perpetrators of war crimes. In Ukraine, the unlawful annexation of Crimea and Russian military expansion into Eastern Ukraine must immediately cease and a cease-fire, as outlined in the Minsk Agreement, and a UN peacekeeping mission should be deployed there.
“The U.S. can also work with Russia to immediately improve its dismal record in fighting human trafficking and help stop the suffering of women trafficked around the globe.”