Monday, 23 July, 2018

United States senators on rare visit to Moscow ahead of Putin-Trump summit

US congressmen meet Russian officials in St. Petersburg Senate Republicans Meet Lavrov in Moscow Ahead of Trump-Putin Summit
Gerardo Duncan | 06 July, 2018, 03:35

According to a statement issued by State Department's spokesperson Heather Nauert, Pompeo and Lavrov discussed the upcoming meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Xinhua reported.

Sergei Lavrov said his meeting with Pompeo would have to take place after the summit in Helsinki and not before because of his USA counterpart's tight schedule. "We recognise that the world is better off, I believe, if Russia and the USA have fewer tensions, get along a little better", Senator Richard Shelby said during the meeting with Lavrov at the Russian foreign ministry.

Asked about whether the visiting USA lawmakers would meet Putin, Peskov said: "For now, it is not on the president's schedule, but we know that the American officials have planned quite wide-reaching contacts with their colleagues".

Russia's President Vladimir Putin talks to U.S. President Donald Trump during their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017. "We look into the future with optimism and are ready for cooperation on all fronts", he said. "We'll be talking about world events".

The senators then met with representatives of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament.

Huntsman said the US needs to hold Russian Federation responsible for "hybrid warfare", which is widely understood to blend conventional and unconventional, regular and irregular, and information and cyber tactics.

Huntsman said Trump will be following up on efforts by a group of GOP lawmakers to press the issue on Moscow - an undertaking he described as the most direct yet to raise the awkward topic of Russia's use of social media, fake Twitter accounts, and hacking to sew divisions or even tilt the outcome of its Cold War democratic adversary. He will meet with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders the week before in Brussels.

Trump has expressed scorn for the alliance and is expected to upbraid European NATO members for not spending enough on their own defense.

Mr Trump's meeting with Mr Putin, the first summit between the pair since Mr Trump took office last January, comes with political risk.

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