WASHINGTON, D.C. — Kentucky Senator Rand Paul on Monday traveled to Russia, which he announced is part of his ongoing efforts to promote communication and peace through continued dialogue.
“The world is a complicated place, we are in close proximity to Russia in Syria and other places, and I think it would be a very big mistake not to have open lines of communication,” Paul said, referencing President Donald Trump’s announcement that an invite he had previously extended to Vladimir Putin would need to be delayed until after the 2018 mid-term elections in November.
The primary goal of his trip, said Paul, is “to say that we need to have dialogue,” including “more cultural exchange, more exchange between our legislative bodies, more open lines of communication.”
“I’ve traveled here to say that there are many Americans who want to have diplomacy, that want to have engagement, I’m one of them,” Paul added.
Further, said Paul, he hopes to find “common ground with [Russian] leaders and help prevent further, unnecessary escalation of tensions.”
“Engagement is vital to our national security and peace around the world. 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,” Paul said in a written statement.
During a joint press conference in Moscow on Monday, Paul and Russian foreign affairs official Konstantin Kosachev agreed to send a Russian delegation to Washington, Russia’s first Capitol visit in nearly three years.
Although a date has not been officially announced, sources say officials are looking at dates for sometime this fall