Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Shelby returns from trip to Russia

Senator Richard Shelby questions Secretary of Defense Ash Carter during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense hearing on the DoD fiscal year 2017 budget request at The Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington D.C., Apr. 27, 2016. Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, returned on Saturday from his recent trip to Russia.

Shelby led a congressional delegation trip to Russia, which included meetings with high-level U.S. government and Russian officials. The eight member, all Republican, congressional delegation was led by Sen. Shelby.

“During a time of heightened tensions between Russia and the United States, I led a congressional delegation, the largest in many years, to Russia to meet with key leaders of the Russian government,” Shelby said. “Our goal was to have a sober assessment of our differences and to put the unvarnished truth on the table. We had candid discussions with the Foreign Minister, members of the Duma, and the Federation Council about a number of issues, including election interference, Crimea, Ukraine, and Syria. We were honest and frank in expressing our concerns and our shared belief that Russia must make changes in its behavior if our relationship is going to thaw.”

“The United States does not want, nor does it need, to resume a Cold War posture with Russia, and our delegation trip was a small step towards trying to ensure that does not happen,” Sen. Shelby continued. “We will always be competitors, but we do not have to be adversaries. Russia can achieve a better relationship with the U.S., but it has to be earned, one step at a time.”

\The group of congressional members also stopped to meet with officials in Finland and Norway.
The eight-member delegation struck a conciliatory tone with government officials over the course of the trip to St. Petersburg and Moscow, leading to criticism by some in Washington.

“Cannot believe GOP, once the party that stood strong against Soviets & only a decade ago sought to democratize the Middle East, is now surrendering so foolishly to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the Kremlin’s kleptocracy — only two years after Russia interfered in U.S. election,” tweeted Clint Watts, an information warfare specialist at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

President Donald J. Trump (R) is preparing to meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The United States imposed sanctions on Russia after Russia seized the Crimea from Ukraine and backed armed ethnic Russian militias that revolted against the pro-Western Ukrainian government. Fighting between Ukraine and the Russian backed militias in Eastern Ukraine has not stopped though the war has been locked in a stalemate for years.

Tensions between the Russian government and the West has grown in recent days. On Sunday, 44 year old British woman Dawn Sturgess died after handling an item contaminated with Novichok, a nerve agent manufactured by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Sturgess’s boyfriend remains in critical condition. British authorities claim that Novichok was used 12 kilometers away at Salisbury to poison former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March. British Prime Minister Theresa May says that Sturgess’s death is being investigated as a murder. Russia has denied any involvement.

Richard Shelby is the chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Defense.

(Original reporting by the Washington Post and The Guardian contributed to this report.)

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

More from the Alabama Political Reporter


Britt is the only freshman Senator to serve on the powerful appropriations committee.


We may be in better shape in the senate than some think. 


Britt is the youngest Republican woman ever to serve in the U.S. Senate and the second youngest woman ever to serve in the U.S. Senate.


One hundred years ago this month, delegates met in Moscow to create the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.


Britt said she and her team are putting in long hours now so that they can hit the ground running when she assumes office...


Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, and Alexander Drueke, 39, went missing from Kharkiv, Ukraine, on June 9.


The bulk off the money is designated to reconstruct tarmacs at Mobile International Airport and Tuscaloosa National Airport.


The bill would codify the right to same-sex and interracial marriages as fears abound that Supreme Court could overturn precedents.