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Putin-Trump Call Launches New Diplomacy, as Lavrov and Pompeo Meet in Finland, Plan More Talks

May 7, 2019 (EIRNS)—Following up on the May 3rd call between Presidents Putin and Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks in Finland yesterday, which both described as constructive. Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced today that preparations are being made for a follow-up meeting in Sochi, one week from now, on May 14. When fully arranged, it will be officially announced, she specified.

Depending on how the Sochi talks go, “we do not rule out that Pompeo will be received by the Russian president,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also told reporters.

Lavrov and Pompeo spoke separately to reporters after meeting.

“We had a very good, constructive conversation. We discussed many regional issues that are on the current UN agenda and the international agenda more broadly. We discussed topics related to strategic stability. I think we took a fairly good step forward, following up on the telephone conversation that took place between President of Russia Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump several days ago,”

Lavrov said.

Asked if the possibility of a summit between Putin and Trump was discussed, he said: “Our presidents agreed to meet when they have an opportunity. I am sure that such an opportunity will present itself and you will hear about it from the Kremlin.”

Pompeo likewise called it

“a good conversation. We covered a wide range of issues and I think on every one have charted a way that we can begin to have positive conversations forward; that we have interests that are definitely different, and there will be places where we run into hard stops pretty quickly, but there is no doubt there was a desire to begin to try and find paths where we can make real progress on places where we have overlapping interests, as narrow as they may be. And I hope we can achieve that. I hope we can follow up and continue to do that.... I am sure I’ll see him again before too long as well.”

Their meeting took place after Pompeo’s pre-Arctic Council aggressive geopolitical speech. Lavrov fielded questions about Pompeo’s charges against Russia in the Arctic and differences over Venezuela, by answering that the two “tried not to focus on public statements considering that they are influenced by too many things that have nothing to do with real politics. We tried to concentrate on real politics and we succeeded in this.”

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