Republican Senator Rand Paul (KY) intends to introduce an amendment this week that would remove U.S. sanctions from Russian lawmakers, according to The Daily Beast.
> The amendment, which will be introduced at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting on Wednesday, stipulates that existing U.S. sanctions on members of the Russian Federal Assembly will be lifted if Moscow agrees to lift its own sanctions on certain American members of Congress.
> Paul’s amendment is not likely to go anywhere on a foreign relations panel that is overwhelmingly skeptical of Russia and unwilling to lift sanctions in exchange for such a concession as the one Paul has outlined. At least one fellow senator—who herself is banned from traveling to Russia—is already objecting.
> “Thanks, but no thanks. As a senator who has been sanctioned by the Kremlin, I see absolutely no need for this amendment and strongly believe that sanctions should continue to be enhanced for Russian leadership rather than weakened,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who was denied a Russian visa last year, told The Daily Beast. “As the Kremlin continues to attack our institutions and democracy, this amendment would be a capitulation to Putin’s aggression.”
Paul first mentioned the notion of lifting sanctions from Russian lawmakers after his trip to Moscow in August, which was sponsored by the libertarian Cato Institute.
While there, the senator invited the lawmakers to meet with their American counterparts in the U.S.
> “Senator Rand Paul believes that dialogue and diplomacy are vitally important to global peace,” Sergio Gor, the senator’s deputy chief of staff, told The Daily Beast. “It is important to remember that the United States and Russia hold more than 90% of all nuclear weapons. While there is plenty we might disagree on, we won’t be able to resolve those difference if the two sides aren’t engaging in dialogue.”