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Russia ready for more dialogue with U.S. on North Korea

sergei lavrov

 

by Joseph Earnest August 8, 2017

 

Newscast Media MANILLARussia’s top diplomat said Sunday his country was ready for more engagement with the U.S. on North Korea, Syria, Ukraine and other pressing matters, even as Moscow braced for new sanctions from the Trump administration.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for the first since the U.S. imposed the additional penalties, said Russian and the U.S. had agreed to resume a suspended high-level diplomatic channel and Washington would send its Ukraine envoy to Moscow for negotiations.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the U.S. shared Lavrov’s rosy view of the meeting. "We felt that our American counterparts need to keep the dialogue open,” Lavrov said. "There’s no alternative to that."

Lavrov said Tillerson had asked him for details about Moscow’s recent move to expel American diplomats and shutter a U.S. recreational facility on the outskirts of Moscow. Lavrov said he explained to Tillerson how Russia will carry out its response, but did not publicly disclose details.

Last month, the Kremlin said the U.S. must cut its embassy and consulate staff in Russia by 755 people, a move that echoed former President Barack Obama’s action last year to kick out Russian diplomats in punishment for Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 American election. The Russian announcement has caused confusion because the U.S. is believed to have far fewer than 755 American employees in the country.

In their hourlong meeting, Lavrov said, Tillerson agreed to continue a dialogue between U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov. Lavrov and Tillerson met on the sidelines of an Asian regional gathering in the Philippines. It was their first face-to-face conversation since Congress passed legislation in July that makes it harder for Trump to ever ease penalties on Russia.

The White House said Trump’s opposition stemmed from the bill’s failure to grant the president sufficient flexibility on when to lift sanctions. Trump’s critics saw his objections as one more sign that he is too eager to protect the former Cold War foe from penalties designed to punish Moscow for its actions in Ukraine, election meddling and other troublesome behavior.

Trump’s administration has argued there’s good reason for the U.S. to seek a more productive relationship. Tillerson has cited modest signs of progress in Syria, where the U.S. and Russia recently brokered a cease-fire, as a sign there’s fertile ground for cooperation.      Add Comments>>

 

Source: Press TV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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