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Sen. Rand Paul Meets Russian Senators in Moscow, and Invites them to Washington

Aug. 6, 2018 (EIRNS)—Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) flew to Moscow today to meet Russian lawmakers on the Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee: First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Foreign Affairs Committee Vladimir Dzhabarov, Deputy Chairman Vladimir Lukin, who also headed the first Russian diplomatic mission in Washington, and First Deputy Chairman Sergei Kislyak, who is also a former Russian Ambassador to Washington. The visit was made to increase engagement between the U.S. and Moscow, TASS and the Washington Post reported.

Senator Paul and his delegation, which includes Texas State Sen. Don Huffines and CATO Institute President Peter Goettler, will visit St. Petersburg after their visit to Moscow.

Sen. Paul’s visit follows by only a few weeks the July 4 visit of the Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)-led delegation of Republican legislators to Moscow for meetings with Russian parliamentarians and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, which included U.S. Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT), John Hoeven (R-ND), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John Kennedy (R-LA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), John Thune (R-SD), and Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX). No Democratic congressmen participated.

In his meeting, today, at the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s bicameral Federal Assembly, Senator Paul invited Russian legislators to meet with U.S. Congress members, in Washington, D.C., or elsewhere. “This is incredibly important,” Paul said, according to Interfax news agency.

Paul said that President Trump’s interaction with President Putin, as shown in their July 16 Helsinki summit, is exactly the kind of action Washington should be taking to improve relations. To the Senator’s suggestion of a further meeting, Sen. Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee, responded that such a meeting could occur as soon as this fall.

Senator Paul has questioned the extent of Russian interference in U.S. elections. Kosachev said that Russia had no role in election meddling in 2016, “And it will certainly not happen during the ongoing [midterm] election campaign, either,” he told reporters after the meeting.

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