Cox to Head Task Force on Russia

July 7, 2008 - 7:25 PM

Washington ( - Citing what he described as a "critical policy failure" of the Clinton-Gore Administration regarding Russia, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, (R-IL), announced on Wednesday the formation of a Congressional task force headed by Representative Chris Cox (R-CA) to address a broad range of issues the US has with the former Soviet Union.

"I have asked Chris Cox to review every facet of the administration's current Russia policy, including security, economic, and law-enforcement issues," said Hastert. "We hope to learn from the failures of the past so that we can chart a better course in the future."

Cox, who is one of Congress' leading experts on Russia, said that during the Clinton Administration, Russia, "controlled by a tight circle of unethical and unpopular politicians," has evolved into a corrupt country that in many ways is now "more hostile" to the United States than the old Soviet Union was.

Cox referred to Russia's opposition to US involvement in Kosovo and recent Russian arms deals with Iraq and Iran as examples of a Russian attitude toward the US "not seen since Soviet days."

Cox told that the Clinton-Gore failure to capitalize on the fall of communism in the Soviet Union and help the struggling nation establish democracy constitutes "criminal neglect."

"The haphazard way that US policy has dealt with Russia over the last several years has caused great damage to not only Russia's current prospects but our future relations as well," said Cox.

Also on the Russia task force is Representative Curt Weldon, (R-PA), who told that he is particularly concerned about a new strategic alliance between Russia and China.

"Because of US policy actions over the past seven years, we've actually driven Russia and China into what is becoming a new strategic relationship, with the U.S. as the enemy," said Weldon.

"We have totally mishandled foreign policy in terms of our relations with both of those countries. And, because of our mishandling, we have driven those countries together," added Weldon.

Weldon said that the Clinton-Gore Administration has continually ignored congressional policy advice on Russia and China.