Rand Paul: Russian delegation to visit Capitol Hill

Rand Paul invites Russian lawmakers to visit US

U.S. Republican Senator Rand Paul said here Monday that the main goal of his visit to Russian Federation is to establish and develop dialogue between the lawmakers of the two countries. "I consider this to be very important." said Paul, after meeting with Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of Russia's foreign affairs committee.

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 USA 2016 presidential election, and other actions.

On the second trip by USA politicians to the Russian capital in just over a month, the delegation is this time being led by high-profile Republican lawmaker senator Rand Paul. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, on a trip that The Washington Post described as "a bid to increase engagement with the country".

Paul led a small delegation of Americans in a meeting at the Federation Council, Russia's equivalent of the U.S. Senate, with senators from the global relations committee.

America and Russian initiated diplomatic talks their diplomatic talks since President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, in July. "We will continue our conversation with our American counterparts tomorrow on these and other most likely regional issues of the worldwide agenda", Slutsky said, according to Russian state media.

Asked if Russian election meddling was discussed during his meeting on Monday, Paul told CNN, "We had general discussions about a lot of issues and basically we've decided that right now we will try to is establish a dialogue and solve issues".

Paul, however, has stood by Trump, despite his remarks in Helsinki.

Shelby's delegation said it had come with the similar goal of reviving communications with Russia, but had also delivered a warning to the Russians not to interfere in the USA mid-terms this November.

USA intelligence agencies say Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 United States presidential election to try to tilt the race in Trump's favour, an assertion Moscow rejects, and the two countries are also at odds over Syria and Ukraine.

Trump endured days of intense bipartisan criticism for his performance at a joint press conference, where he cited Putin's "powerful" denials of Russian interference.

It was "opposition research", Trump said, not collusion.

"Those that believe, in either country, that we should not have diplomacy are greatly mistaken", Paul said.

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