A group of Senate Republicans is headed to Moscow Thursday night in a bid to “lessen some tensions” with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other top leaders.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said the group hopes to meet with both Putin and the Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
U.S. Ambassador to Russian Jon Huntsman Jr. encouraged the lawmakers to make the trip, Shelby said. The lawmakers will travel to Russia weeks ahead of a newly announced summit between Putin and President Trump.
“We have our differences with Russia, but they are a player in the world,” Shelby said. “The goal is to talk face to face with the top leadership and lessen some tensions — maybe, maybe not — in the world.”
Sens. John Thune of South Dakota, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Jerry Moran of Kansas, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, will make the trip with Shelby. They are all members of either the Appropriations or Defense committees.
Shelby said the trip will last about five days.
He also downplayed Russia’s effort to meddle in the 2016 election.
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