U.S. senator seeks dialogue with Russian legislators

Rand Paul invites Russian lawmakers to visit US

Paul met for an hour with Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Russian Federal Council Committee on Foreign Affairs.

"Engagement is vital to our national security and peace around the world", he said. "[Monday], I met with Chairman Kosachev, and we agreed on the importance of continued dialogue".

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

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow told The Washington Post the Monday excursion was not an official diplomacy trip, and Paul was part of a "private group" of people meeting with Russian senators.

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

Trump's Helsinki meeting was panned by a number of prominent Republican officials who said the president appeared to side with Putin over top US intelligence officials.

Oil prices rise as U.S. renew sanctions against Iran
China will levy 25 percent tariffs on billions of dollars in USA gasoline , diesel and other goods in a matter of weeks. Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are already calling the shots, making the big decisions on oil output bilaterally.

"They use the anti-Russian campaign purely for internal American purposes, the interests of the same elections campaign they are charging us with meddling in", Kosachev said.

And Paul is the only Republican lawmaker to stand by Trump during that controversy. In June, some Texas Republicans decried President Donald Trump after his meeting with Russian President Vladmir Putin, where Trump expressed doubt about the USA intelligence community's consensus that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

The summit drew sharp criticism at home after Trump suggested he was inclined to believe Putin's version of events regarding the 2016 U.S. presidential election - that is, Russia's denial of meddling - over the conclusions of the U.S. intelligence community. Trump later walked back the remark and said he trusted the US intelligence community's assessment Moscow did interfere.

Trump has invited Putin to D.C.as well.

"Of course, Mr. Paul is yet to discuss these ideas with his colleagues after returning to Washington", Kosachyov said.

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

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