Published: Thu, May 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

"We Fundamentally Don't Seek War With Iran", Says US State Secretary

Russian Federation has been strongly critical of the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and is now apprehensive that a military conflict could break out between the US and Iran.

Despite being at odds on that issue, Pompeo added, the US and Russian Federation should work to ease the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

"There are things that Russian Federation can do to demonstrate that those kinds of activities are a thing of the past, " Pompeo said.

Both countries needed to dispel "suspicions and prejudices" and to "start building a new constructive framework", Lavrov said.

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

It's not clear what such action would look like, though Pompeo said that the US "would not tolerate that", and that it would make US-Russia relations even worse than they already are.

Pompeo said improved ties between the two countries - damaged by Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and USA sanctions against Russia - "will be good not only for our two countries but for the whole world as well".

"This will benefit each of our peoples".

"However exotic the work of special counsel Mueller was, I have to say that on the whole, he had a very objective investigation", Putin said, according to a translator.

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said Moscow was sorry to see Iran's nuclear deal falling apart but stressed Russian Federation was not "a fire brigade" to "rescue everything".

"He understands that the USA is going to be in the lead, but I think there are places we can work together", Pompeo said. Putin denied any collusion between his government and the current USA administration.

Speaking earlier at a press conference alongside Lavrov, Pompeo said the two sides "agree on the goal of the denuclearization, and we'll continue to discuss it".

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has called on Russia's leadership to find common language with Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky.

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 US efforts to oust Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro.

The statement comes after the United States deployed an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Persian Gulf last week in what White House National Security Adviser John Bolton claimed was intended as a message to Iran that any attack on U.S. or allied interests would be met with "unrelenting force".

"We are talking about some situational convergence, and not about a unified vision of the global picture", said the head of the Russian International Affairs Council, Andrey Kurtunov.

Putin's willing to meet Trump, but here's been no official invitation so far, Lavrov said.

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