Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Rand Paul: Russian delegation to visit Capitol Hill

Rand Paul: Russian delegation to visit Capitol Hill

The senator was one of Trump's most vocal supporters in Washington last month when the U.S. president came under fire for his handling of a summit with President Vladimir Putin.

Tuesday, U.S. Senator Rand Paul continued his efforts to decrease escalating tensions between the United States and Russian Federation by meeting with former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev to discuss how to improve relations.

On the second trip by U.S. politicians to the Russian capital in just over a month, the delegation is this time being led by high-profile Republican lawmaker senator Rand Paul.

"Engagement is vital to our national security and peace around the world", said Paul in a statement.

The planned trip will mark the first time an official Russian delegation has traveled to meet with lawmakers at the U.S. Capitol in three years.

In addition to the invitation to the U.S., Paul said he'd like to organize a larger, future meeting.

Paul's was the second unusual diplomatic overture to Russian Federation by Senate Republicans in a month, following the visit of a larger delegation led by Sen.

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

With Putin by his side, Trump questioned USA intelligence findings that Russians had meddled in elections and called investigations into the matter a "disaster for our country". Trump later walked back the remark and said he trusted the USA intelligence community's assessment Moscow did interfere.

He was one of the very few on Capitol Hill to defend Trump after the Helsinki summit.

The "main aim of the trip" was to "create a dialogue" and "improve relations" between Moscow and Washington, Paul added.

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

"Those who believe in either country that we should not have diplomacy are greatly mistaken", he said. "All the Democrats are now happy that new sanctions are being introduced", Paul was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency.

One reporter asked if the senator had discussed election interference with the Russian officials.

"We had general discussions about a lot of issues and basically we've decided that right now we will try to is establish a dialogue and solve issues".

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