Trump to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Washington: US President Donald Trump will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the White House on Tuesday, over two years after his previous controversial visit to the country.
Lavrov last visited the US in May 2017 when Trump had just fired the then FBI director James Comey, who was probing Russia's meddling in the US polls at the time.
There were no immediate details available of the Trump-Lavrov meeting.
Lavrov will drive down to the White House following his meetings with the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
At the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, Lavrov and Pompeo are scheduled to address a joint press conference.
Their meeting and a working luncheon will precede this.
Pompeo, in an interview on Monday, said that he and Lavrov are expected to discuss a wide range of issues.
We will talk about a whole host of things. I personally the President, 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 told One America News Network.
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. We want to bring China into that discussion as well. I'm sure we'll talk about that as well, he said.
Matthew Rojansky, Director of the Kennan Institute at The Wilson Center, described this a high stakes moment for US-Russia diplomacy.
Not only because it could either enable or obstruct progress on Ukraine, but because both sides have acknowledged the risks of the current state of conflict: Moscow and Washington have pulled out of key Cold War-era arms control treaties while backing rival factions in regional conflicts from the Middle East to South America, he said.
All this takes place against the backdrop of the Congressional and public debate about impeachment and the 2020 US presidential campaign, which brings Russia and Ukraine issues right into the center stage of US politics hardly a conducive atmosphere for delicate diplomatic maneuvering, Rojansky said.
- By Lalit K Jha