Thu, 23 Jan 2020

Washington D.C. [USA], Dec 10 (ANI): President Donald Trump on Tuesday will hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Washington, a meeting that comes amid several ongoing controversies involving Trump and Russia.

Trump will meet Lavrov alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss the state of their bilateral relationship, a senior administration official told CNN.

The State Department had previously announced that Lavrov would travel to Washington this week for meetings with Pompeo to "discuss a broad range of regional and bilateral issues.""We'll talk about a whole host of things. I personally - the [US] President [Donald Trump], too - have said that where there's work that we can do alongside Russia, we have an obligation to do it for the American people. I hope that Foreign Minister Lavrov and I can make progress on that," Pompeo said in an interview to One America News Network that aired on Monday.

"One of the areas that the President has asked us to work on is business-to-business relationships. We'll try to work on those. There are arms control issues between our two countries," the State Secretary added.

Lavrov's last official visit to Washington in May 2017, was notable because Trump reportedly shared highly classified information in the Oval Office with the foreign minister and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.

This week's meeting will take place amid the backdrop of Democrats' ongoing impeachment inquiry, which centres on whether Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine -- at a time when it has been fighting Russian aggression -- in exchange for political dirt to aid his reelection bid. And on Monday, a highly anticipated report into the early days of the Russia investigation is set to be released.

Trump has strived to improve relations between Washington and Moscow during his time in office, but he's often been pushed to punish the Russian government for conducting destabilising actions around the world. In August, Trump imposed long-overdue, legally mandated sanctions on Russia for its poisoning of an ex-spy in the United Kingdom.

Lavrov, in turn, also has accused the US of destabilising the world, airing a list of grievances during a press conference last year over the Trump administration's foreign policy, particularly in regard to Iran and North Korea. (ANI)

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