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Pompeo, Lavrov Have ‘Productive’ Talks’; Putin Will Meet Trump if There’s ‘an Official Invitation’

May 14, 2019 (EIRNS)—U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with both Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin in Sochi today, and Pompeo stated afterwards:

“We did have a productive set of conversations this afternoon between us. There’s places we disagree; there’s places I think there are truly overlapping interests that we can build on ... there are places that our two countries can find where we can be cooperative, we can be productive,”

he was quoted by the State Department as saying.

In a joint press conference given by Pompeo and Lavrov after their meeting, the Russian Foreign Minister stated (as reported by Sputnik):

“We heard statements by President Trump that he expects to hold a meeting with President Putin, including during the G20 Summit in Osaka. If we receive an official invitation we will respond positively. We talked about that today with Mike Pompeo.”

Putin, for his part, told the press after meeting with Pompeo:

“As you know, a few days ago I had the pleasure to talk to the U.S. President over the phone, I had an impression that the President was in favor of restoring the Russia-U.S. ties, contacts, jointly resolving the issues of common interest. On our part, we have repeatedly said that we would also like to restore the full-scope relations.”

Putin also stated:

“We should give [Mueller] credit. In general, he conducted an objective probe and confirmed the absence of any traces and collusion between Russia and the current administration, which we initially characterized as complete nonsense: There was no interference on our part in the elections in the United States at the state level, and could not be.”

Other significant comments to the press from Lavrov included:

“Because tensions between two great nuclear powers—Russia and the United States—unavoidably have negative impact on the global situation, Mike Pompeo and I agreed that we must try to take practical steps to rectify the current situation. Russia is interested in normalizing bilateral dialogue with the U.S. and we are convinced that it is quite possible to conduct this dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and consideration of each other’s interests.”

“Of course, we paid special attention to issues of strategic stability. We considered the situation that is developing around the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. We talked about the prospects of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty [New START] due to the fact that it expires in February 2021. And we are interested in resuming a specific and professional dialogue on all aspects of arms control.”

“By the way, I gave Mike an unofficial memorandum of sorts, a non-paper, as we call it in English, which lists not made-up but factual proof of the U.S. interference in Russia’s domestic affairs, including a famous—infamous—law on the support of freedom in Ukraine, it is called something like that, adopted by the Congress, in which the secretary of state is expected, is forced to promote democracy in Russia, directly and through work with Russian nongovernmental organizations, and $20 million was allocated for this annually. This is not made-up, this is a document that exists as a U.S. law.”

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