Russia Intends to Rebuild Relations with US, Putin Lauds 'objective' Mueller Report


Putin spoke to reporters after hosting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday for the highest-level bilateral talks in almost a year.

Pompeo held talks in Sochi on Tuesday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and was hosted by Putin.

"We had a frank discussion about many issues including many places where we disagree", Pompeo said.

Washington previous year pulled out of a nuclear deal backed by Europe, Russia and China, which curbed Iran's nuclear ambitions in return for sanctions relief.

The U.S. and North Korea addressed the point explicitly in the Singapore Agreement signed last June, but have yet to carry out additional steps on the issue beyond Washington's cancellation of some joint military exercises with South Korea. These included Iran, Syria and Venezuela, where the United States supports opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president and Russian Federation backs President Nicolas Maduro.

Iranian officials said last week that if the world community doesn't rework the agreement within 60 days, then they will begin enriching uranium to near-weapons-grade levels.

Pompeo said he urged the Russians to reconsider their support for the Venezuelan dictatorship and accept "the time has come for Nicolas Maduro to go".

The Kremlin indicated on Tuesday it is open to any format for a meeting between Putin and President Donald Trump, possibly on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Japan next month.

More news: Rick and Morty season 4 release date announced
More news: MPs To Vote On Theresa May's Brexit Vote AGAIN Next Month
More news: UK Talk Show Axed By Channel After Death Of Participant

Lavrov defended Russia's position and said the threats Maduro's government is receiving from USA officials, coupled with Guaidó's seeming support for a foreign military intervention, "bear no relation to democracy". What did both sides have to say about that today?

As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before.

Showing the depths of the disagreement over Venezuela, Lavrov countered, "Democracy can not be done by force". The United States had joined Russian Federation in showing an interest, he said, in "starting to correct the relationship and gradually restoring communication channels".

SHAPIRO: So did they note any progress on any of these issues?

The fact that the latest missile test-firing took place right at a time when US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun was visiting South Korea also indicates that Pyongyang is determined to pile pressure on Washington in order to force the issue over the US-North Korea talks.

While it's uncertain whether such criticism was directed at Pompeo or actually at Trump himself, Kim is apparently frustrated or probably even angry at the current state of affairs.

"This was a frank and a useful conversation", he said. I think it's just really important to remember that for Russian Federation, there's this desire to turn the page.

SHAPIRO: NPR's Lucian Kim in Sochi, Russia, thanks a lot.