“The meaning of this visit and its consequences are that it has become possible for the inter-parliamentary dialogue to get some structured form in the future. We used to be in a situation when there were no contacts whatsoever. Now, with the recent visit, the contacts have been de-facto thawed,” Senator Konstantin Kosachev said in an interview with popular daily Izvestia.
However, the Russian official noted that it would be unwise to expect any serious changes in Russia-US relations before November Senate elections which could see 30 percent of US senators replaced.
“Still we asked American senators to pass to the newly-formed Senate Committee for International Relations our message of readiness to continue the practice of joint sessions. The signal was sent and after the elections we will anticipate some reaction,”Kosachev told the newspaper.
A delegation of US lawmakers headed by Senator Richard Shelby visited Moscow at the beginning of this month to make preparations for the upcoming meeting between President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
During the visit Senator Shelby held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and after the meeting told reporters that, in his opinion, the United States should see Russia as a superpower and seek dialogue. “We have to look at Russia as a superpower, as a competitor and not an adversary, and we will see what happens,” he said, adding that Trump and Putin are aiming for a productive negotiation.