Russia, US hope for better relations

Sergei Karpukhin  TASS

Pompeo met with Putin in Sochi after his discussions with Lavrov, and was reportedly told by the Russian president that his recent phone conversation with Trump convinced him some of the differences between Russia and the USA could be resolved. But they often find themselves on opposite sides, even if they share a stated basic goal.

Russian Federation and America on Tuesday agreed to seek better relations and ease tensions, even as they clashed on issues ranging from Iran and Venezuela to alleged Kremlin meddling in USA elections.

The U.S. had warned sailors of the potential for attacks on commercial sea traffic.

But Pompeo told reporters Tuesday he thinks US and Russian officials "now can begin to work together" in a way to begin the process set out in a U.N. Security Council resolution that calls for a Syrian-led political transition with a cease-fire, new constitution and elections.

Pompeo warned Russian Federation not to meddle in the USA presidential election next year, calling on Moscow "to demonstrate that these types of activities are a thing of the past".

"Moscow, at least, has been saying that for a long time, but I believe that today the American side said the same in a very positive manner", she said, describing the meeting as proceeding "very constructively".

Other topics for Tuesday's meeting included Iran, Ukraine and Venezuela.

Pompeo's comments on the meeting didn't seem to indicate that he'd pressed the Russian president on election interference any harder than Trump had. This will benefit each of our people.

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"This was a frank and a useful conversation", he said.

Lavrov said both countries are overdue to dispel "suspicions and prejudices" and to "start building a new constructive framework" of how Russian Federation and the U.S see each other. A Kremlin spokesperson rejected the notion that Putin's schedule was an intentional "message" for the USA administration.

During their almost two-hour talk in Putin's summer home, Pompeo said they spoke at length about North Korea, weeks after Putin held a summit with leader Kim Jong Un in the Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok.

Pompeo meanwhile said he had urged Lavrov to end Russia's support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The two sides described the talks as "frank, " saying that they wanted to improve relations strained for years over the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and more recently over strategic arms control and USA efforts to oust Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro.

United Nations inspectors have said Iran is complying with the deal, and Moscow last week denounced new USA sanctions on the country's mining industry, calling for new talks to save the nuclear accord.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that dealing with Turkey is easier than the European Union.

A Kremlin spokesman later said Putin would be open to a new meeting with Trump if a formal proposal is made.

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