A United States senator who met with Russian lawmakers in Moscow said he invited them to visit Washington and they accepted Monday. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, on a trip that The Washington Post described as "a bid to increase engagement with the country".
The chairman of the Russian global relations committee, Konstantin Kosachev, thanked Paul and said he hoped the meetings could happen before the end of the year.
Paul said he met with Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Russia Federation Council on Foreign Affairs, in Moscow and discussed a visit.
"I invited the Russian Federation to send a delegation to the Capitol, and they have agreed to take this important next step", he said.
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At the conclusion of the hourlong meeting between Paul and Kosachev, Kosachev reiterated Russian President Vladimir Putin's claim that his government did not interfere in the 2016 USA election. Paul added that lawmakers from the two countries could also meet in a neutral third nation.
At the beginning of July, a group of USA senators met with Russian officials ahead of the Helsinki summit between Trump and Putin.
Background: A group of USA lawmakers led by Sen.
The senator, once a foe of the president, has emerged as a unique and somewhat renegade voice, coming as both Republicans and Democrats criticize Trump for not taking a tougher stance against Russian Federation.
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"The hatred of the president is so intense that partisans would rather risk war than give diplomacy a chance", Paul said in a long defense of Trump on the Senate floor, days after the summit.
Paul headed a US delegation, which includes member of the Texas State Senate Don Huffines and representatives of the Cato Institute, a public policy research organization.
When asked by CNN whether the issue of Russian interference came up, Paul said he had "general discussions about a lot of issues". "Certainly it will not happen during the ongoing election campaign either", he said.
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Trump has invited Putin to the White House, a move largely panned by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.