Published: Wed, May 15, 2019

Pompeo tells Russia: Don't meddle in next US presidential election

Pompeo tells Russia: Don't meddle in next US presidential election

If Russia meddles in next year's election, "it would put our relationship in an even worse place", the top USA diplomat told a joint news conference with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, calling on Moscow "to demonstrate that these types of activities are a thing of the past".

"I've formed the impression that your president wants to fix Russia-U.S. ties and contacts and wants to solve issues which are of common interest for us", Putin told Pompeo. Russian Federation says it opposes United States "unilateral" steps such as withdrawing from the Iran deal, as the U.S. did previous year.

"If the Russians were engaged in that in 2020, it would put our relationship in an even worse place than it has been", said Pompeo.

"President Trump has made clear that his expectation is that we will have an improved relationship". He also was critical of USA sanctions punishing countries doing business with Iran.

Pompeo - who like most of the USA political class, with the major exception of President Donald Trump, has been outspoken in his criticism of Putin - said that the two countries found areas on which to cooperate, and voiced optimism in breaking a deadlock on Syria.

At least one, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, said he feared that unintentional escalation from the United States and Iran could spark a conflict - an unusually bold statement that appeared to assign equal culpability to Washington and Tehran.

Lavrov, whom Pompeo met in Sochi ahead of talks with President Vladimir Putin, dismissed as "fiction" speculation that President Trump had colluded with Moscow in his election campaign.

Pompeo did not specifically mention election meddling in his brief reply to Putin, although he did say the Trump administration would "protect our nation's interest".

Last week, Washington announced the deployment of an aircraft carrier battle group and a bomber task force to the Persian Gulf to counter what US officials called "clear indications" of Iranian threats to the interests of the United States or its allies in the region.

"It's not about 'moving on.' It's about trying to find solutions, compromises, places where there are overlapping interests", he told reporters.

Implementation of the deal for the delivery of Russia's S-400 air defense system to Turkey is in full swing despite USA pressure, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said on May 14.

According to Pompeo, the parties also talked about implementation and "how we might move forward in obtaining a ceasefire in the Donbas region". "We just think being outside the deal gives us better odds than that", Hook said.

Despite Trump's conciliatory attitude toward Putin, Washington and Moscow are at loggerheads on an array of urgent strategic questions, including the Venezuelan crisis, Iran, the Syrian civil war and the conflict in Ukraine.

The meeting of Trump and Putin would be held next month, as part of the G-20 Summit, in the Japanese city of Osaka.

"We fundamentally don't seek war with Iran", Pompeo said.

The U.S. has been critical of Russian Federation for propping up Maduro's regime.

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