Sen. Rand Paul Invites Russian MPs to Washington


State Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, met with Russian officials in Moscow on Monday, joining U.S. Sen.

The chairman of the Russian worldwide relations committee, Konstantin Kosachev, thanked Paul and said he hoped the meetings could happen before the end of the year. Paul said the two "agreed on the importance of continued dialogue".

"I think this is incredibly important, " Paul said after the high-profile sit-down.

Konstantin Kosachyov, the chairman of the International Affairs Committee, said at the meeting with Paul that efforts to mend ties are hampered by sanctions the United States has imposed in response to Russia's interference in Ukraine, its alleged meddling in the USA 2016 presidential election, and other actions. "We also agreed to try to organize a meeting in a neutral, third country", the Kentucky senator told reporters. Although the specific date of this visit was not announced, a visit by members of the Russian Federation to Congress would be the first in nearly three years.

The invitation comes at a time of heightened tensions between the USA and Moscow, with lawmakers pushing legislation that would levy additional sanctions on Russian Federation for election meddling.

"My goal in coming to Russian Federation is to say that we want to have open lines of communication", Paul said at a press conference after the meeting.

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The Kentucky Republican said it was agreed that a delegation of council members would visit the USA capital.

The Texas senator's trip comes during a tense time for U.S. -Russia relations.

President Trump continues to face charges that he colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election, particularly after tweeting this weekend that his son Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer during the election to get dirt on his opponent.

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

Trump has invited Putin to the White House, a move largely panned by lawmakers on Capitol Hill. "President Trump must clarify his statements in Helsinki on our intelligence system and Putin", he wrote on Twitter.