Hoeven Statement Following National Security Meetings with Finnish, Russian and Norwegian Officials

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and Senate Homeland Security Committee, issued the following statement. Over the past week, the senator was part of a congressional delegation meeting with officials in Finland, Russia and Norway to gain a better understanding of U.S. relations in the region regarding national security interests. 

“In Russia, we met with government officials to have frank discussions about the status of current relations between the U.S. and Russia. We made it clear at our meetings that we believe Russia interfered in our elections, which is unacceptable, and also that we oppose Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and Syria. Russia needs to address these issues in order for our relations to improve. We began a dialogue, and the next step is for our country’s leaders to meet in Helsinki on July 16.

“We also held productive meetings with officials in Finland and Norway to discuss security issues with their embassy teams and government officials.”

In Helsinki, the senator met with U.S. Ambassador to Finland Robert Pence and Finland Foreign Minister Timo Soini prior to meetings in Russia. In Russia, the senator attended meetings with the governor of St. Petersburg, U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman and the U.S. embassy team, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, members of the Russian Duma and Federation Council, and Russian human rights advocates. In addition to government leaders, the senator also met with representatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Russia.  Hoeven also met with the U.S. embassy team in Oslo, Norway, as well as the Norwegian State Secretary and other officials at their Ministry of Foreign Affairs.