Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says he will go Russia in an attempt to prevent further escalation of tensions between the two nations.
His announcement that he will meet with unnamed Russia leaders came in a column for Politico. It follows President Donald Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.
"In just a few weeks, I will take my own trip to Russia in an attempt to discuss common ground with their leaders and help prevent further, unnecessary escalation of tensions," Paul said. "We will discuss trade, cultural exchanges and how to better work for peace and prosperity in the world.
"I look forward to consulting with Trump between his visit and mine and to working with diplomats from both countries to have a successful trip and better relationships. Millions of lives could be at stake."
And Paul, whose column was posted as Trump and Putin got set to meet, praised the president for the summit.
"I am thankful that Trump is once again willing to go against the political elite in Washington and keep the lines of communication to Moscow open.
Russia doesn't need to be considered our friend. But we certainly have overlapping interests — Syria, Islamic terrorism and energy — that require us to have an open dialogue and relationship."
Paul said keeping dialogue open is key to foreign policy.
"Dialogue is especially important when hundreds of millions of lives are at stake, as is the case in relations between the United States and nuclear-armed Russia," he said.
"So I applaud Trump for both chiding our NATO allies and greeting its expansion with skepticism, and I applaud him for sitting down with Putin. We should be doing more of such self-examination and dialogue."
Following Trump's meeting with Putin, the U.S. president blamed "both countries" for the strained relationship, The Washington Post noted.