US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with his Russian counterpart in Sochi Tuesday — the two vowing to improve relations between their countries despite their many, many differences.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: “We had a frank discussion on many issues including many places where we disagree.
The United States stands ready to find common ground with Russia as long as the two of us can engage seriously on those issues.” It's the highest-ranking chat for the two countries since Trump met with Vladimir Putin last July in Helsinki.And now, Washington and Moscow find themselves on opposing sides on virtually ever major global conflictOn Venezuela, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged DC to stop making military threats.
While Pompeo urged Russia to stop supporting Nicholas Maduro.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: “He's brought nothing but misery to the Venezuelan people, and we hope that Russians' support for Maduro will end.”On Iran, Lavrov criticized the US for pulling out of the nuclear treaty and hoped to avoid a dangerous escalation in tensions between the two countries.
(SOUNDBITE)(Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: “We’ll keep in touch with our American colleagues and try to find a way out of this crisis.”Tuesday’s meeting comes just weeks after Special Counsel Robert Muller’s report found extensive Russian interference in the 2016 election, which Russia maintains didn't happen.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: “Interference in American elections is unacceptable.
If Russians were to engage in that in 2020 it would put our relations in an even worse place than it has been and I encourage them not to do that, we would not tolerate that.” And yet, while his secretary of state was warning against further interference, Trump was telling reporters once again that the Russia investigation was a farce.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: “It was the the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the people of this country." Trump on Monday said he'll meet with Putin at the G20 summit next month.