WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs today made the following statement regarding the Russian presidential election:

“Yet again, Russia has shown its disregard and contempt for democratic values and processes. With this sham election, Vladimir Putin has further stripped Russian citizens of their rights to freely choose their political leadership and government.

“This should not be considered a real election—it was an orchestrated farce to ensure Putin’s continued grip on power. All real alternative candidates were barred from the election, and many Russian voters were forced under threat to vote for Putin. Sadly, this comes as no surprise, as Putin—a dictator in everything but name—continues to tighten his authoritarian hold over Russia. Putin and his cronies have disdain and disrespect for democracy, coupled with a reckless pursuit of power: their malign plotting has disrupted the elections of the United States, our foreign allies, and Russia herself.

“I hope the administration will join me in denouncing this attack on the political rights of Russian citizens and Putin’s continued assault on democratic governance throughout the world.”

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