Friday, 17 August, 2018

Rand Paul: Russian delegation to visit Capitol Hill

The Day After Trump Admits to Attempted Collusion, Rand Paul Invites Russian Delegation to Washington Rand Paul says ‘big mistake’ not to have dialogue with Moscow, invites Russian MPs to DC
Ellis Copeland | 09 August, 2018, 10:14

6 for an unofficial visit with Russian lawmakers, whom he invited to visit Washington, The Washington Post reported. The US representatives also met with Chairman of the Federation Council Committee for Foreign Affairs Konstantin Kosachyov and Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky earlier on Monday.

"Engagement is vital to our national security and peace around the world".

Paul is in Moscow meeting with Russian lawmakers in a trip he sees as a continuation of US President Donald Trump's diplomatic outreach to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and comes several weeks after Trump invited Putin to DC as well.

The announcement comes just days after Mr. Paul's spokesman the senator planned to lead a USA delegation to Moscow.

After meeting with Paul for an hour, Kosachev publicly reiterated that Russian Federation was not involved in election meddling.

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.

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The delegation with Paul included Phillip Huffines, a Texas Republican who ran unsuccessfully in a primary race this spring, and Peter Goettler, president and CEO of the Cato Institute, the conservative Washington-based think tank. "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.

Sen. Rand Paul said on Monday that American and Russian lawmakers need closer contact, noting that "our biggest problem right now is no dialogue". Trump later walked back the remark and said he trusted the USA intelligence community's assessment Moscow did interfere.

Trump appeared to accept Putin's denials about election interference during a news conference with the Russian president last month.

Paul said that Russian officials would discuss nuclear non-proliferation and combatting terrorism in Washington.

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

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