Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement on the passage of a referendum in Russia that would allow Vladimir Putin to remain as President of Russia until 2036:

“With an iron fist, Vladimir Putin tramples on the human rights of the Russian people, wages war against Russia's neighbors, meddles in the elections of freedom loving countries around the world, and orders the brutal killings of his political rivals, dissidents, and those that seek to expose corruption. Now, because of a rigged process designed to give Putin false legitimacy, the Russian people will be forced to endure his rule for many years to come. I stand by those brave Russians who continue to fight for a freer, more democratic nation.

“Rather than defending our institutions, our values, our allies, and even our troops from Putin’s attacks, President Trump would rather look the other way in the hopes that Russia will once again boost his election chances. History will remember that when our adversary undermined our elections, attacked our allies, and killed our servicemembers, President Trump called it a hoax.”

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