Dialogue with Trump was non-politicised: Russian FM

Cheryl Sanders
May 11, 2017

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will hold talks with US State Secretary Rex Tillerson in Washington on Wednesday, with focus on the Syria crisis, topical worldwide and bilateral issues. "But Lavrov called the Obama administration's expulsion of Russian diplomats from the U.S.in retaliation late past year "pitiful" and a "dirty" trick".

Tillerson, who met with Lavrov last month in Moscow in a bid to smooth out differences, said he wanted to express "my appreciation for his making the trip to Washington so we can continue our dialogue and exchange of views that began in Moscow with the dialogue he hosted on a very broad range of topics".

Like Sestanovich, Ms. Smith says the Russians have little to offer the U.S. when it comes to Syria.

Trump's meeting with Lavrov came just after the top Russian diplomat met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the State Department for a meeting that exceeded one hour.

"I would say that our dialogue as of now is free from ideology that was very typical for [Barack] Obama's administration", Mr. Lavrov told reporters.

Representatives of the countries-guarantors of the truce in Syria (Russia, Iran, Turkey) signed on May 4 a memorandum on the creation of four zones of de-escalation in Syria, which include the province of Idlib and seven other regions.

Her testimony pushed the story of the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russian Federation back into the headlines.

The diplomats met a day after the administration fired FBI Director James Comey, who had been investigating Russia's relationship with Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and numerous president's official circle.

In a press conference after meeting Trump, Lavrov dismissed what he considers a widespread notion in the United States that "people are controlling things from outside".

The Russian Foreign Ministry tweeted a photo of Trump and Lavrov shaking hands in the Oval Office, and another of Trump and Kislyak. Asked whether the controversy was affecting his talks with the Russians, the president replied, "Not at all".

A USA official and a person knowledgeable of the plans are describing what would be the highest level, face-to-face contact with Russian Federation of Trump's presidency.

Mr. Lavrov rejected accusations that Moscow had meddled in the presidential election as "fabrications", saying the notion of a powerful country such as the USA being vulnerable to outside influence must be "humiliating" to Americans.

"How can it be possible for such a great power and great country?"

"There is not a single fact, there is no compelling evidence given to anyone regarding Russia's intervention and that is it", Lavrov said. The U.S. isn't party to the deal and has reacted cautiously, especially given its misgivings about Iran's role.

"We hope that it will not affect" relations with Russia, Peskov said, according to a report from Russia's TASS news agency.

The timing of the decision sparked outrage in Washington, with Democrats in the Senate "virtually unanimous" that a special prosecutor must now be appointed to take over the Russian Federation investigation - a step the White House insists is unnecessary.

Other reports by iNewsToday