Executive Intelligence Review


U.S. Lawmakers Promote Good Will in Russia, Optimistic About Trump-Putin Summit

July 3, 2018 (EIRNS)—A delegation of Republican lawmakers is on a six-day trip to Russia from June 30-July 5. They were in St. Petersburg and took the high-speed train Sapsan, arriving in Moscow on Monday night, July 2.

In St. Petersburg the delegation met with the city’s Gov. Georgy Poltavchenko. At the beginning of the meeting, delegation leader Sen. Richard Shelby (AL) spoke about a necessity for improvement of relations between Russia and the U.S. and expressed the hope the Russian-American summit would facilitate the rectification of relationship. Later in Moscow, speaking with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Sen. Shelby elaborated, expressing the hope that

“coming out of the Putin-Trump meeting in Helsinki will be the beginning maybe of a new day.... We recognize that the world is better off, I believe, if Russia and the U.S. have fewer tensions, get along a little better, maybe put aside some differences....There are some common interests around the world that we can hopefully work on together.”

In St. Petersburg, the delegation also visited the State Hermitage Museum where they were received by the museum’s Director General Dr. Mikhail Piotrovsky. The Hermitage Museum press service reported that, Dr. Piotrovsky stressed the particular role the Hermitage Museum plays as a universal and encyclopedic museum center, and that “this encyclopedia was written in the Russian language and it tells the story of Russia’s statehood.”

In Moscow they met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and their fellow-lawmakers from the bicameral Federal Assembly, including State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and Chairman of the Federation Council Committee for Foreign Affairs Sen. Konstantin Kosachev on July 3.

Speaking with the U.S. lawmakers Foreign Minister Lavrov said

“I hope the visit will symbolize the restoration of ties between the parliaments. The parliamentarians are people’s representatives, they reflect the nation’s sentiment.”

He went on,

“I think the resumption of the inter-parliamentary dialogue is very timely in the run-up to the Helsinki meeting between the two presidents due in two weeks.”

This is the first major visit of U.S. lawmakers to Russia in 10 years.

Speaker Volodin said, during his meeting with the delegation that this was the first U.S. Congressional delegation to visit the State Duma in a number of years, and

“therefore, we have a lot of issues to talk about, considering that our relations within the parliamentary dimension have practically been reduced to zero. ...We proceed from the assumption that you initiated this meeting,”

the speaker went on to say.

“In light of that, I want to emphasize your role. I believe it will also be appropriate to emphasize the role of Mr. [Jon] Huntsman, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia,”

he observed. “As far as I know, the inter-parliamentary dialogue was his initiative.”