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US Senator Invites Russian Lawmakers to Hold Talks in Washington

© AP Photo / J. Scott ApplewhiteDuring a TV news interview, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., defends President Donald Trump and his Helsinki news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin whereTrump appeared to cast doubt on U.S. intelligence findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 17, 2018
During a TV news interview, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., defends President Donald Trump and his Helsinki news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin whereTrump appeared to cast doubt on U.S. intelligence findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - On Monday US Senator Rand Paul urged to step up interaction between US and Russian legislative bodies and expressed hope for an open dialogue between the two countries.

Rand Paul, who is currently heading a US legislative delegation to Russia, held a meeting with Russian Federation Council lawmakers led by foreign affairs committee head Konstantin Kosachev.

"We want to have open relations and even with countries with which we may have disagreements. I believe that we need to have more cultural exchanges, more exchanges between our legislative bodies, more open lines of communication. We need to have a dialogue between our foreign relations committees and my hope is that with the time we will improve dialogue between our countries," Paul said.

READ MORE: US State Dept. Convoked Russia's Charge d'Affaires Over Moscow Alleged Meddling

The US official also invited Russian lawmakers to visit Washington to hold talks with their American counterparts. Paul added later that it might be possible to organize a meeting in a third country.

"I am pleased to announce that we will be furthering this conversation. We have invited members of the foreign affairs committee of Russia to come to the United States to meet with us in Washington and we're also trying to arrange meetings in a third neutral county as well," Paul told reporters.

The US Congress building. (File) - Sputnik International
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Kosachev, in turn, noted after the meeting with Paul that the lawmakers may discuss sanctions, strategic stability, and economic issues this fall, before the midterm elections in the US. The Foreign Affairs Committee chairman stated that during the meeting he had discussed the issue of Russia's alleged meddling in the US election, stressing that "there was and will be none."

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