'Kremlin Aggression Act' is not a topic for talks with America says snr Russian senator
“It would be important for us to build the dialogue around issues that make real relations of our two nations. And these definitely do not include such legislative initiatives,” Senator Konstantin Kosachev told the press on Monday, shortly before the start of his meeting with the Republican US Senator Rand Paul.
The Russian official also said that even though the US anti-Russian restrictions were harmful for bilateral relations, they could not justify a complete and sudden stop in cooperation. He noted that “certain forces in the United States are working against the attempts to arrange a dialogue with Russia because they seek some space for their own shallow and short-term initiatives.”
After the end of the talks the Russian senator told reporters that Russian did not meddle with the US presidential elections in 2016 and had no intention to do so in the future, but still expressed readiness to discuss all theories used in Washington to describe these events.
“Apparently, the people who keep afloat this theory of conspiracy against the American democracy think that it is better for them to work in a unilateral key, using a monologue and unfounded accusations against Russia. They use the anti-Russian campaign purely for internal American purposes, the interests of the same elections campaign they are charging us with meddling in,” Kosachev said.
The Russian official said that during the talks he and his American counterpart agreed that the absence of regular parliamentary contacts between Moscow and Washington was not normal and reached a preliminary agreement to hold a broader meeting between members of the international relations committees of the Russian Federation Council and the US Senate. At the same time, he emphasized that the time of this new meeting would be announced later as Senator Rand Paul needed to discuss the issue with his colleagues.
Senator Paul also told the press that he considered the restart of a full-pledged dialogue between the two countries as a primary objective and added that he had invited Russian lawmakers to visit Washington to hold talks with their American counterparts or organize such talks in a third country.
"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 that with the time we will improve dialogue between our countries," the senator said.
The US senator also told reporters that he had discussed the issue with President Donald Trump and had got the impression that the US leader supported the idea of lifting personal sanctions against Russian lawmakers and trying to restart the parliamentary exchange programs. Paul stated that he would try to convince US public and officials that free movement of lawmakers in both directions was a necessary thing.
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