In an interview with Fox News US Senator Rand Paul said that he is planning to ask President Donald Trump to lift sanctions from certain Russian lawmakers, but failed to provide any names. Paul invited several Russian lawmakers from both legislative chambers to come to Washington this fall in a bid to start the dialogue between two countries. The senator extended this invitation during his visit to Moscow.
"They have agreed to come to Washington in the fall for further meetings. That's a good thing. The downside is the chairman of each of the committees is banned from coming to the US because of sanctions," he said.
It is unclear what format the meeting will take, if indeed it takes place. Spokesmen for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and for the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee told the Hill that they haven't extended any invitations to Russian lawmakers.
Paul traveled to Moscow soon after the Helsinki Summit, although the visit had been planned almost six months prior to it, to find common ground with Kremlin and "help prevent further, unnecessary escalation of tensions." The US senator held talks with several Russian senators and invited them to meet with their US counterparts in Washington saying "[it] is incredibly important."
Although it is so far unclear, who Rand Paul has invited, he definitely talked with Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Russian Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs during his visit. The latter has shared with Russian media that Moscow is interested in bilateral talks at the level of foreign relations committees.