Richard Shelby, Senate colleagues headed to Russia in effort to ‘lessen some tensions’

Vladimir Putin
[Photo Credit: AP Photo]

A group of Republican United States senators headed to Russia Thursday night in an effort to “lessen some tensions” with the country ahead of a possible July meeting between President Donald Trump‘s and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman and Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, is joined by Commerce Chairman and South Dakota Sen. John Thune, Homeland Security Chairman and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy, Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven, Montana Sen. Steve Daines, along with Texas U.S. Rep. Kay Granger.

 The group planned the trip at the urging of Ambassador Jon Huntsman.

“I’m sure we’ll have some high-level meetings. … [Russia] at times can be an adversary. But they’re somebody that I think, just like China and others, that we should be talking to. See if there’s any common ground,” Shelby told reporters ahead of the trip.

The trip is scheduled to last roughly five days.