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Shaheen Statement on Secretary Tillerson's Decision to Exclude Civil Society Groups During Russia Trip

**Last week, Shaheen and Rubio sent a letter to Secretary Tillerson calling on him to meet with democratically-minded Russians**‎ 

(Washington, DC)—Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson concluded his trip to Russia without meeting with civil society groups. Last week, Senators Shaheen and Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to Secretary Tillerson formally requesting that he schedule these meetings, as all of his predecessors in recent Republican and Democratic administrations have done.‎

“Civil society groups in Russia live under tremendous repression by Putin's government," said Shaheen. "Secretary Tillerson could have delivered a very meaningful message to those fighting for democratic values in Russia by scheduling meetings just as all of his predecessors have done. By excluding these groups from his schedule, Secretary Tillerson has undermined our longstanding message of solidarity with democratically-minded Russians."