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Kremlin 'Cautiously Optimistic' After Lavrov-Trump Meeting

RFE/RL May 11, 2017

The Kremlin expressed "cautious optimism" about the prospects for an improvement in relations with the United States following a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made the comment on May 11, adding: "We have a lot of work ahead of us."

He also said a G20 summit in Germany in July would be a "good occasion" for Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet face-to-face.

Trump and Lavrov met at the White House on May 10, the highest-level meeting the U.S. president has had with a Russian official since taking office in January.

Trump described the talks as "very good" and voiced optimism on the prospects for cooperation on ending the war in Syria, saying: "I think that we are going to do very well with respect to Syria."

However, a White House statement said that Trump urged Lavrov to "rein in" Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran.

It also said that Trump "stressed Russia's responsibility to fully implement the Minsk agreements," which called for a cease-fire and set out steps to end the deadly conflict between the Ukrainian government and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Relations between the United States and Russia have sunk to lows unseen since the Cold War amid rancor over Moscow's seizure of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014, its backing of separatists in Ukraine, the Syrian civil war, and other issues.

Based on reporting by Reuters, TASS, and Interfax

Source: kremlin-cautiously-optimistic/28480222.html

Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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