Putin backs Russian lawmakers' trip to U.S. to meet with congressmen on Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin has supported the Federation Council's and State Duma's idea to send a delegation to the U.S. Congress to hold negotiations on the situation in Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has supported the Federation Council's and State Duma's idea to send a delegation to the U.S. Congress to hold negotiations on the situation in Syria.

"This initiative is very timely and correct. Indeed, in order to better understand each other, there is no other way but a direct and open dialogue with arguments and with the presentation of positions," Putin said at a meeting with Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko and State Duma Chairperson Sergei Naryshkin on Monday.

"Sure, our American colleagues could better understand and feel what the Russian Federation's position is based on and listen to our arguments. Certainly, it would not be useless to listen to our American partners as well. Anyway, such a dialogue between the parliaments will undeniably be a significant element in the development of Russian-U.S. relations," he said.

Matviyenko said Naryshkin and she expected support from the Russian Foreign Ministry. "As Congress starts working on September 9, we will arrange such a trip within the next few days and hope that our counterparts from the U.S. Congress will accept this initiative with understanding. A dialogue is always better than its absence," Matviyenko said.

"I will talk with the foreign minister," Putin said.

Matviyenko suggested that public opinion polls in the U.S. show that an absolute majority of the population in that country is against strikes on Syria.

"It seems to me that, if we manage to build a dialogue with our partners in Congress and exchange opinions and arguments with them, perhaps we could better understand each other. We expect the U.S. Congress to assume a balanced position and will not support the proposals on a possible provocation against Syria without convincing arguments - and we see there are none today, but only empty talk," Matviyenko said.

She asked Putin to back the idea and signaled her willingness to join this work immediately, send a delegation to the U.S. and invite U.S. senators to Russia.

Naryshkin pointed out that the Russian parliamentarians addressed their foreign counterparts through the media to once again consider the situation surrounding Syria.

This proved to be not wholly useless, and some Western parliaments have assumed quite "a balanced and reasonable position."

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