Russia: US Senator Make Unofficial Visit

Rand Paul invites Russian lawmakers to visit US

U.S. Senator Rand Paul on Monday invited Russian lawmakers to visit Washington after holding talks in Moscow with parliamentarians and pledging to obstruct new sanctions against Russia. "We agreed and we invited members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Russian Federation to come to the USA to meet with us in the U.S., in Washington".

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

The head of the Federation Council's foreign affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachev, suggested that a meeting in Washington might take place "as early as during the fall session, that is, before the end of this year".

"I think this is incredibly important, " Paul said after the high-profile sit-down.

Paul, who traveled to Moscow this weekend, despite calls from political pundits to cancel the trip, has announced that he invited a delegation from Russia's upper house of parliament to visit the USA capital.

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

Sen. Rand Paul said during a trip to Russia that American and Russian legislators need closer contact, noting that "our biggest problem right now is no dialogue".

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

The Texas senator's trip comes during a tense time for U.S. -Russia relations.

The Kentucky Republican and 2016 presidential hopeful flew to Moscow this week to lead a legislative delegation in support of President Donald Trump's diplomatic outreach to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He also avoided answering a question about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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

Paul is a key supporter of Trump's controversial interactions with Putin, heralding the leaders' Helsinki summit last month as exactly the sort of action Washington should be taking to mend ties between the two.

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

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