US Senator Rand Paul Seeks Dialogue With Russian Legislators

US Senator Rand Paul Seeks Dialogue With Russian Legislators

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and U.S. senator Rand Paul discussed bilateral relations and arms control issues on Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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", said Paul in a statement Monday.

"My goal in coming to Russian Federation is to say that we want to have open lines of communication, it does not mean that we have no differences, it does not mean that we will not, on occasion, have discussions back and forth where we disagree", Paul said.

Kosachev said that while no plans have been finalized, "certain specific subjects in the development of this co-operation" had been addressed during Paul's visit, adding that he hoped a meeting between the Senate and the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs could be held before the end of the year. After the Department of Defense announced the sale of $1.5 billion of arms to Saudi Arabia, Senators Paul, Chris Murphy (D-CT), Al Franken (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT) are attempting to block the sale by using a provision of the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 that "provides for special procedures whereby a senator can force a vote on an arms sale by the president". Paul was one of the few Republicans who defended the president in the resulting backlash.

Chinese exports accelerate as USA prepares new tariffs in heated row
According to the United States Census Bureau , the country exported $10.2 billion in new and used passenger cars to China in 2017. April 4: China rolls out a listof more than 100 U.S. goods worth roughly $50 billion that are subject to retaliatory tariffs.

"We know you as an authoritative, independent American politician", Kosachev told Paul as they began their meeting, saying his visit was "especially valuable given the attitudes of other American politicians", who he said presented any contact with Russian officials as "toxic".

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign, after the United States intelligence community concluded that Putin ordered efforts to undermine Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and aid Trump.

The Kentucky Republican and 2016 presidential hopeful flew to Moscow this week to lead a legislative delegation in support of President Donald Trump's diplomatic outreach to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

When asked by CNN whether the issue of Russian interference came up, Paul said he had "general discussions about a lot of issues". His summit with Putin in Helsinki was their first full-fledged meeting since Trump took office in January 2017.

Trump endured days of intense bipartisan criticism for his performance at a joint press conference, where he cited Putin's "powerful" denials of Russian interference.

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