Putin and Trump may meet without aides in Helsinki

Cheryl Sanders
July 5, 2018

The lawmakers were joined for the meeting with Lavrov by U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman.

The head of a US congressional delegation visiting Russian Federation said Tuesday he hopes for "a new day" in repairing relations between Russian Federation and the U.S. "We recognise that the world is better off, I believe, if Russia and the United States have fewer tensions, get along a little better", Senator Richard Shelby said during the meeting with Lavrov at the Russian foreign ministry.

Lavrov, who was speaking at a news conference with his Jordanian counterpart, also said that Moscow hoped the Putin-Trump summit would serve as a platform for what he called a frank conversation about all the issues that trouble US-Russia relations. "We hope for a honest discussion of all problems clouding our relations with the US", Lavrov told a news conference.

"We are competitors, but we don't necessarily need to be adversaries", said Shelby, a Republican senator from Alabama, in televised comments.

The two officials also discussed issues related to Syria and North Korea, read the statement.

"We will have to wait and see, and go from there, but we recognize that the world is better off, I believe, if Russian Federation and the USA have fewer tensions", Shelby added.

US State Department said on Tuesday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier on the day to discuss the future meeting of the two nation's presidents.

U.S. -Russian ties have hit the lowest point in decades due to sanctions over Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election and disagreement over Syria, Ukraine and other topics.

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