Russia Conveys N. Korea's Desire for Direct Talks with US

Cheryl Sanders
December 8, 2017

"Lavrov said he had passed on Pyongyang's desire for direct talks to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when the two men met on the sidelines of a conference in Vienna on Thursday, the agencies reported".

In remarks at an OSCE session, Tillerson said that the US would "never accept Russia's occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea", and warned that sanctions related to the matter would remain in place until Moscow returns control of the peninsula to Ukraine.

Speaking a day ahead of planned talks with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Tillerson said he hoped to convince Moscow to allow a blue helmet force with a robust mandate.

"It is deeply troubling to try to wrap up the substantive consideration of the Russian draft Security Council resolution on the establishment of a United Nations mission to promote and protect the observers in strict accordance with their mandate", Lavrov said.

"The issue that stands in the way is Ukraine", Tillerson said.

One observer, an American, was killed in April 2017 in eastern Ukraine when his vehicle hit a landmine.

"We will never accept Russia's occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea", Tillerson told the audience at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe event.

"Russia is arming, leading, training and fighting alongside anti-government forces". Trump calls on Saudis to "immediately" lift Yemen blockade Trump has yet to name ambassadors to key nations in Mideast Mattis, Tillerson warned Trump of security concerns in Israel embassy move MORE said Thursday that Russia's involvement in Ukraine remained the major barrier to warmer relations between Washington and Moscow. He accused the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries and the United States of undermining security in Eastern Europe.

Tillerson's diagnosis of the problem was striking in its downplaying of other key disputes, particularly Russia's meddling in the US presidential election. Neither said anything to reporters, beyond Lavrov's claim to a reporter who shouted questions loudly and clearly, "I can't hear you".

Other reports by iNewsToday