A group of US senators will visit Russia soon, Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky confirmed.
According to him, State Duma members are ready to meet with American senators during their planned visit to Moscow. "We know that a group of US senators plan to visit Moscow," TASS cited Slutsky as saying
The deputy recalled that meetings with both the Republicans, the Democrats, members of the House of Representatives and senators are planned on the sidelines of the summer session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Berlin in July.
A source in parliament told Interfax that the visit will start on June 30. "They will arrive in Russia on June 30, they will spend two days in St. Petersburg. They will arrive in Moscow on July 3-4," he said.
Earlier, head of Russia’s Federation Council International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev confirmed that a group of US senators representing the Republican Party plans to visit Russia in early July.
Initially, the Washington Post reported that US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman is working to arrange a visit by a group of US Republican senators to Russia to hold consultations with Russian officials and explore the possibility of ironing out relations between the two countries.
According to the report, Huntsman is one of the few members of the Trump administration who strongly support cooperation between Moscow and Washington. The US ambassador plans to organize the visit of Senators Richard Shelby (Alabama), John Neely Kennedy (Louisiana) and John Hoeven (North Dakota).
The director of the Roosevelt Fund of Study of the US at Moscow State University, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Yuri Rogulev, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, the visit of senators to St. Petersburg and Moscow will be an important event in the process of establishing the Russian-US dialogue. "All political contacts between Russia and the United States have been interrupted lately and economic ties have been shut down. Only regular contacts in the military sphere have remained. Which is why Ambassador Huntsman decided to fulfill his diplomatic mission and organize a visit of US politicians to Russia," he said.
"In any case, it would be a breakthrough in our relations. And we must give credit to the US Ambassador if the senators really come here. Now we do not have any dialogue. The agenda of the talks is not even as important as the fact itself. I think that each side will ask a lot of questions: visits were stopped for more than 4 years, our letters to the US were not answered, our politicians and experts were not accepted, they did not come here as well, although the Russian side invited them many times. If it happens, it will be a stage of recovery political dialogue," Yuri Rogulev stressed.
The director of the Institute of Political Studies Sergei Markov, noted the desire of a number of US power groups to improve relations with Russia. "There is a group of US senators which do not face early elections, who believe that the relations between Russia and the United States have worsened much more than most American people and authorities expected - which threatens to reduce US security. So they are thinking about ways to improve Russian-US relations," he said in the first place.
"Senators want to visit Russia in order to understand the motivation system of Russia. It is worth mentioning that the Russian side also wants to improve relations with the US. In addition, the visit of the senators can be related to the preparation of the Putin-Trump meeting: the congressmen are becoming an important resource for the president. If they are allowed to hold at least a short meeting with Vladimir Putin, it will sharply raise their ratings in the US," Sergei Markov underlined.
"The US embassy feels that it has to do something to improve relations with Russia, because if the process develops just the same, it can reach a point where the embassy will simply be closed. Jon Huntsman does not want to leave Russia as failed diplomat. If he succeeds in improving Russian-US relations, he will be considered a great diplomat. In general, this visit will be part of the diplomatic work necessary for the real increase in the level of ties between our countries," the political scientist concluded.