Paul invites Russian lawmakers to Washington

Paul invites Russian lawmakers to Washington

Paul invites Russian lawmakers to Washington

We have invited members of the foreign affairs committee of Russian Federation to come to the United States to meet with us in Washington.

The issue of Russian election meddling remains a major issue in the U.S. Congress ahead of midterm elections, and such visits can potentially influence negotiations over U.S. sanctions between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Engagement is vital to our national security and peace around the world", said Paul in a statement.

Konstantin Kosachyov, the chairman of the International Affairs Committee, said at the meeting with Paul that efforts to mend ties are hampered by sanctions the United States has imposed in response to Russia's interference in Ukraine, its alleged meddling in the US 2016 presidential election, and other actions.

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The U.S. visit will be the first in three years for the Russian Federation.

U.S. Senator Rand Paul asks a question during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, DC on July 25, 2018.

At the beginning of July, a group of USA senators met with Russian officials ahead of the Helsinki summit between Trump and Putin.

The senator, once a foe of the president, has emerged as a unique and somewhat renegade voice, coming as both Republicans and Democrats criticize Trump for not taking a tougher stance against Russian Federation.

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State Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, met with Russian officials in Moscow on Monday, joining U.S. Sen.

In the days after the summit, Paul called the criticism partisan and overblown, saying it was too risky not to seek dialogue when relations were so tense. "But discussions are incredibly important".

"My goal in coming to Russian Federation is to say that we want to have open lines of communication, it does not mean that we have no differences, it does not mean that we will not, on occasion, have discussions back and forth where we disagree", Paul said. Trump later walked back the remark and said he trusted the USA intelligence community's assessment Moscow did interfere.

Paul suggested he did not believe raising the issue of election interference would have been productive in his meetings with Russian officials.

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"Of course, Mr. Paul is yet to discuss these ideas with his colleagues after returning to Washington", Kosachyov said. "So we're not going to get into any of the differences other than we are trying to agree to have dialogue". "Certainly it will not happen during the ongoing election campaign either", he said.

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