- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 5, 2018

Montana Sen. Steve Daines called for continued dialogue with Russia on Thursday, ahead of President Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr. Daines, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, joined a U.S. delegation of Republican lawmakers that met with several Russian officials Tuesday. He described the trip as a “productive visit” as the government representatives discussed U.S.-Russia relations.

“This relationship is at a very strained level — arguably, the lowest it’s been post Cold War,” he said.

While the goal of the meeting was to mend the tension between the two nations, Mr. Daines said they sent a strong message to Russia. The senator explained the delegation focused on four key issues: Ukraine, Syria, nuclear weapons, and interference in U.S. elections.

Mr. Daines said the focus needs to be on continuing communication with Russia.

“I applaud President Trump,” he said, “As he understands, it’s important to have dialogue.”

Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin will meet in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16. Speculation continues to stir over what the two leaders will discuss regarding the contentious relations. While lawmakers were tough on election interference, some worry that the president will be soft on the issue.


• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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