Putin Describes Mueller Probe As 'Exotic' And 'Very Objective'

Pompeo meets Lavrov amid hope for improved US-Russia ties

This came following talks between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian President Vladimir Putin, described as constructive and positive by Moscow.

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.

"We can not rescue everything", Mr. Putin said.

Still, his claim of vindication covered only allegations that Russian Federation and the Trump campaign colluded to hurt Hillary Clinton's candidacy.

When asked about a New York Times report on his administration's military plans concerning Iran, Trump called it "fake news" and said there are no plans for that.

Pompeo later said, "I made clear to Foreign Minister Lavrov. that interference in American elections is unacceptable".

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 US elections.

Putin also said that after Washington's withdrawal Europe could do "nothing" to salvage the deal.

Pompeo's trip comes a few weeks ahead of a Group of 20 summit meeting June 28-29 in Osaka, Japan, with both Putin and President Trump expected to attend. Pompeo said after meeting Putin that he had a very productive conversation on Syria.


Pompeo said that improved ties "will be good not only for our two countries but for the whole world as well".

Pompeo and Trump's national security adviser John Bolton have repeatedly accused Russia, along with Cuba, of propping up Maduro and demanded that Russian and other foreign troops, intelligence officers and security forces leave the country.

"We want every country interfering in Venezuela to cease doing that. Everything will depend on what our U.S. partners want", Ushakov said.

"He understands that the USA is going to be in the lead, but I think there are places we can work together", Pompeo said.

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

Experts said the meetings in Sochi demonstrated that even in cases when US and Russian interests overlap in certain parts of the world, it should be viewed as a mere coincidence, rather than a pattern.

As for reports that more US troops could be moved to the Middle East, Pompeo said he would defer to the Defense Department.

"We fundamentally do not seek a war with Iran", Pompeo said.

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