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Russian ambassador, US senator discuss resumption of inter-parliamentary dialogue

March 22, 3:26 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

Antonov indicated that the majority of US Representatives and Senators refused to meet with him proceeding from internal political considerations

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WASHINGTON, March 22. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has had a meeting with Senator Rand Paul [R-KY], in the course of which they discussed a possible resumption of inter-parliamentary dialogue, the Russian Embassy in Washington twittered on Wednesday.

"Ambassador Antonov and Senator Paul discussed the Russian-US relations and the prospects for a resumption of inter-parliamentary dialogue," it said. "The interlocutors also took up the problems of regional and global security."

Antonov told Politico earlier that "[…] The Congress, overwhelmed by Russophobia, is led by politically biased emotions, rather than a clear-thinking mind." "We’re bluntly told they fear criticism."

He indicated that the majority of US Representatives and Senators refused to meet with him proceeding from internal political considerations.

In the light of his words, Politico turned for details to the assistants of more that forty Senators and Representatives with requests for comments regarding their views of the prospects for working meetings with the Russian Ambassador. Most of the queries remained unanswered but two Republican senators Bob Corker [TN], who chairs the Senate’s foreign policy committee, and Ron Johnson [WI] - told Politico they had already met with Antonov.

He has also held a meeting with the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Orrin Hatch [UT], who simultaneously presides over the committee for finance.

"After what happened to Jeff Sessions, no member wants to be in the press for meeting with the Russian ambassador," an aide at the Congress told Politico. He added that ‘[…] any lawmaker who does meet with Antonov should be upfront about it."

"At least for now, any meeting would have to be bipartisan and publicly acknowledged," the aide said.

The Russian authorities have said on many occasions they would favor a resumption of the dialogue between the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the US Congress that was suspended by Washington.

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