Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) met with Russian officials in Moscow on Monday, securing an agreement for a Russian delegation to visit the United States.
Paul said that Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Russian Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, agreed to send Russian officials to continue talks on nuclear nonproliferation and anti-terrorism tactics. 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 almost three years.
“Engagement is vital to our national security and peace around the world,” said Paul in a statement. “Today, I met with Chairman Kosachev, and we agreed on the importance of continued dialogue. I invited the Russian Federation to send a delegation to the Capitol, and they have agreed to take this important next step.”
Asked if Russian election meddling was discussed during his meeting on Monday, Paul told CNN, “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.”
Kosachev, who was also present in the room, added that “there was no interference in 2016,” and “there of course will not be any interference in the elections this year,” contrary to the conclusions made by U.S. intelligence officials.
Paul has long been a supporter of Trump’s efforts to open communication with Russia; his own invitation comes just a few weeks after Trump invited Putin to the White House later this year following a meeting with him in July.