Sen. Rand Paul Says Russia Delegation Has Accepted an Invite to Washington

Sen. Rand Paul Says Russia Delegation Has Accepted an Invite to Washington

The Kentucky senator's meeting arises just weeks after Republican legislators traveled to Moscow for meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as well as members of the Russian parliament. Paul agreed with Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Russian Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, to send members of the Russian Federation to D.C., which will serve as the first trip from members of the federation in almost three years.

Kosachev said Paul "has access" to Trump and top USA officials "and we expect that we will be able to convey through him our signals" of a desire to establish dialogue, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news service.

Kosachev is the man alleged to have met with Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen in June 2016, in Prague according to the Steele Dossier.

Paul's trip comes amid fresh anxiety in Congress over warnings from USA intelligence that Russian Federation is seeking to influence the midterm elections using similar tactics, such as social media campaigns, as in 2016.

Sen. Rand Paul said on Monday that American and Russian lawmakers need closer contact, noting that "our biggest problem right now is no dialogue".

Paul, however, has stood by Trump, despite his remarks in Helsinki. Additionally, the continued consensus of the U.S. intelligence community of a Russian desire to interfere in the midterms shows that Moscow remains a long-term risk to the U.S. political system.

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After the Helsinki meeting, the president invited Putin to the United States to continue their dialogue, but later indefinitely postponed the event.

Trump has repeatedly said he wants to improve relations with Russian Federation, which are severely strained.

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

This week, both Democratic and Republican senators introduced a bill that would impose the harshest sanctions yet on Moscow as punishment for its US election interference, as well as its activities in Ukraine and Syria. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters earlier in the week that he wanted "a sanctions bill from hell".

Mr. Paul's press released noted that nuclear proliferation and terrorism will be among the issues the worldwide leaders discuss.

Senior Russian lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev, who was also in the room, reiterated the Russian position that "there was no interference in 2016", adding "there of course will not be any interference in the elections this year".

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