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Senate Proceeding on Jan 5th, 2011 :: 5:27:35 to 5:39:35
Total video length: 7 hours 32 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Roger F. Wicker

5:27:31 to 5:27:51( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: is what impact has the threat of a filibuster had on this institution we love of the united states senate? i yield the floor. mr. harkin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: briefly, i know the senator from mississippi wants to speak and i won't interrupt that. but i would hope the senator from new mexico would stay on

Roger F. Wicker

5:27:35 to 5:39:35( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Roger F. Wicker

Roger F. Wicker

5:27:52 to 5:28:12( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: the floor. i understand the senator from mississippi is going to be relatively believe, but i would like to engage in a colloquy with the senator from new mexico on the topic he just spoke after the senator from mississippi finishes. the presiding officer: the senator from mississippi.

Roger F. Wicker

5:28:13 to 5:28:36( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: mr. wicker: thank you, mr. president. i am compelled to ask unanimous consent that josh davis, a legislative fellow on my staff, be granted privileges of the floor during the balance of today's session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wicker: thank you very much. i do not want to intrude too much on this discussion. it's very important debate. i don't want to disappoint my friend from new mexico or to

Roger F. Wicker

5:28:37 to 5:28:57( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: delay my friend from iowa. i am speaking today, mr. president, in morning business on a very important international foreign policy issue, and that will be the subject of my address today. i wanted to come down here the

Roger F. Wicker

5:28:58 to 5:29:18( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: first day of this legislative session this, 112th congress, and talk about the deteriorating situation with regard to oppression and the rule of law in raoufrpblt -- russia. i've come to this floor a number

Roger F. Wicker

5:29:19 to 5:29:39( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: of times to share my concern on this subject. and i want to begin this congress by, once again, expressing my deep concern over what we see happening just in the recent -- in recent days in russia. i remember looking back in 1990,

Roger F. Wicker

5:29:40 to 5:30:00( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: 1991 at the hope that we had, the optimism that we in the west had as we watched the -- the iron curtain fall, as we watched the wall tumble in berlin. and we watched with hope that this would be a new day for people behind the iron curtain and a new opportunity for

Roger F. Wicker

5:30:01 to 5:30:23( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: freedom and openness there in that society. unfortunately, year after year, month after month we've seen since the fall o soviet union, a very regrettable and disturbing deterioration in the rule of law in russia.

Roger F. Wicker

5:30:24 to 5:30:47( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: and -- and a move back to the authoritarian rule of old that all -- all remember so well. recent events in russia, once again, cause us to believe that this problem is escalating and caused me to come to the floor today on this subject.

Roger F. Wicker

5:30:48 to 5:31:12( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: last month the leadership of this senate pushed through, i think in haste, the new start treaty with russia. i had concerns over the treaty, and i ultimately voted against it. we had a lot more debate that needed to take place. we had dozens of amendments that went undebated and unconsidered

Roger F. Wicker

5:31:13 to 5:31:34( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: and not voted upon by this body and -- and i regret that. i always thought that nuclear arms policy and treaties with regard to our -- our nuclear stockpile should be based on the security of the american people.

Roger F. Wicker

5:31:35 to 5:31:56( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: that the primary issue should be what is in the best united states interest. what we saw a lot of in the debate last month was instead an emphasis on new start as -- as the centerpiece of this administration's effort to reset relations with russia.

Roger F. Wicker

5:31:57 to 5:32:18( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: i -- i certainly support the resetting of our relation with russia, but i did not believe that the new start treaty was the best way to advance this. but it should concern all of us -- it should concern everyone within the sound of my voice, regardless of how we voted on new start, that within two weeks

Roger F. Wicker

5:32:19 to 5:32:39( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: time of this body approving the new start treaty, a russian court issued a second spurious guilty verdict against vorskofki

Roger F. Wicker

5:32:40 to 5:33:00( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: and levited. almost simultaneously authorities in russia arrested former dispute prime minister boris nemzof. these events took place within days of each other. what do these events mean, mr. president?

Roger F. Wicker

5:33:01 to 5:33:24( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: to me they are two other examples of the way that the russian leadership does not respect the rule of law or the freedom of expression in an assembly. the russian government does not share our commitment to international norms or fostering of modernization. a voting u.s.-russian relations

Roger F. Wicker

5:33:25 to 5:33:46( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: will be ex readingly -- exceedingly difficult while these differences persist. during the last congress i spoke several times on the trial of khodorkovsky and plevidad. i said that i hope that russia would choose the right path and

Roger F. Wicker

5:33:47 to 5:34:07( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: somehow justice would prevail in that case. sadly it did not. a russian court issued another politically motivated guilty verdict against these two russian dissidents. this disturbing verdict revealed -- reveals that the russian judiciary lacks

Roger F. Wicker

5:34:08 to 5:34:30( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: independence and that russian authorities can act above the law at will. this latest verdict was not only sad for mikail khodokovkw and

Roger F. Wicker

5:34:31 to 5:34:53( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: lebdev's family, but all of us. prime minister putin's comments on the case before the verdict was even issued were very troubling, indeed. according to the associated press russia's prime minister said the crimes of the former oil tycoon of khodorkovsky have

Roger F. Wicker

5:34:54 to 5:35:17( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: been proven, said this before the -- before it was issued. mr. putin said that khodorkovsky's present punishment is more liberal than the 150 prison sentenced to madoff. citing the years of advocacy,

Roger F. Wicker

5:35:18 to 5:35:38( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: the very respected publication "the economist" explained that it was a slap in the face of all those foreign dignitaries who lobbied medvedev to stop persecuting khodorkovsky. i agree with the comments contained in the publication of "the economist."

Roger F. Wicker

5:35:39 to 5:35:59( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: in a democracy courts are independent and the executive branch acts as a second branch of government with no say in final court decisions. prime minister putin's statement demonstrates that this separation does not exist in russia. as if the khodorkovsky verdict did not make it clear enough

Roger F. Wicker

5:36:00 to 5:36:20( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: that opposition would not be tolerated in russia, russian authorities arrested opposition leader, former deputy prime minister boris nemzov on new year's eve. this took place during a reportedly peaceful

Roger F. Wicker

5:36:21 to 5:36:41( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: antigovernment rally in moscow approximately 70 others were also arrested. a moscow court sentenced former prime minister nemoff for allegedly disobeying police. this arrest was a tremendous disappointment, but it certainly was not a surprise. the russian government had

Roger F. Wicker

5:36:42 to 5:37:05( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: recently begun granting permission for semi-regular protests. i used the term semi-regular because it was granted only for the last day of months with 31 days. i met with mr. nemzoff last month when he was here in washington.

Roger F. Wicker

5:37:06 to 5:37:27( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: he came to my office and we had an enlightening discussion about the future of russia. i admire his dedication and commitment to promoting democracy in russia. and i hope and pray for his safety during the remaining days in a moscow jail cell. sadly we've learned that not all those who oppose the russian government do, in fact, return

Roger F. Wicker

5:37:28 to 5:37:48( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: from russian jails. serger manisky, a young lawyer in moscow, who blew the whistle on the largest rebate fraud in russian history perpetrated by high-level russian officials is an example.

Roger F. Wicker

5:37:49 to 5:38:11( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: manisky was arrested shortly after he testified to authorities. he was held in detention for nearly a year without trial under tortus conditions and he died in an isolation cell on november 16, 2009 in russia. during the 111th congress, i joined senators cardin and

Roger F. Wicker

5:38:12 to 5:38:34( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: mccain in cosponsoring the justice for sergei monisky act which would block visas to russian individuals responsible for mr. minisky's unfortunate death. in this, the 112th congress, i will continue to highlight the treatment of opposition figures

Roger F. Wicker

5:38:35 to 5:38:55( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: in russia and the regrettable erosion of the rule of law. i urge president obama and secretary of state clinton to make the attempt of opposition figure -- the attempt of opposition figures a central part to reset relations with russia. russia needs to prove that it is truly committed to the rule of

Roger F. Wicker

5:38:56 to 5:39:18( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: law. and to human rights of all of its citizen including those who disagree with the government. without this, our efforts to find common ground on other issues of mutual concern will continue to be thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the

Roger F. Wicker

5:39:19 to 5:39:36( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: senator from iowa. mr. harkin: mr. president, first of all, i ask consent that the -- the remarks i'm about to make and the colloquy i'm about to engage in with the senator from new mexico appear unbroken by the statements by the -- by

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