U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, is part of a Republican delegation in Moscow visiting with Russian officials two weeks ahead of a scheduled summit between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladmir Putin.
The delegation, which includes seven Republican senators and Granger, chair of the powerful House Defense Appropriations subcommittee, met Tuesday with Russian Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. Granger was one of 419 representatives who voted to impose new sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea in 2017 — a law that also gave Congress the power to limit Trump's ability to lift those sanctions, a story in the Texas Tribune said.
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The relationship between Russia and the United States has grown troubled over issues such as Russia's perceived interference in the 2016 presidential-year elections, Russian incursions into the Ukraine and Russian conduct during the Syrian conflict.
The delegation was led by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and also included Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Steve Daines (R-MT), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John Kennedy (R-LA), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), according to The Daily Beast.
The visit appears to be part of a coordinated effort to ease tensions between Russia and the United States, according to Dallas Morning News reporting.
“We could have a better relationship between the U.S. and Russia, because we have some common interests around the world that we could hopefully work together on,” said Shelby, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee. “We could be competitors — we are competitors — but we don’t necessarily need to be adversaries.”
Democrats were not a part of the delegation, a story on the CNBC website said.