US Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said on Tuesday that Russia had refused to grant him a visa amid a row within Washington and its allies over whether Russia should return the G7.
US President Donald Trump said last week that it would be appropriate to allow Russia to return to the Group of Seven industrialized nations.
Murphy, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said he planned to visit Russia as part of a congressional delegation that includes Democrats and Republicans.
“With the recent collapse of arms control agreements and the massive internal opposition to Vladimir Putin’s totalitarian rule, this may be a risky moment for our two countries’ fragile relations, and it is a shame that Russia is not interested in dialogue,” he said in a statement.
Russia has consistently refused visas to US lawmakers in the past few years, especially those who have pressed for sanctions against Moscow for its aggression against Ukraine and its interference in US elections.
Separately, a group of senior Democratic senators said on Tuesday that they had sent a letter to Trump expressing strong opposition to Russia’s resumption of G7 membership, attributing it to its invasion of the Crimea.
The letter was signed by Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, as well as Jack Reid, the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, and Mark Warner, the Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.