US, Russia see path forward | Daily News

US, Russia see path forward

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi on Tuesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi on Tuesday.

RUSSIA: Russia and the United States voiced hope Tuesday for better ties including working together in Syria as President Vladimir Putin welcomed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but tensions were laid bare in a clash over election meddling.

Speaking for nearly two hours late into the evening in Putin’s forested dacha in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Pompeo became the highest-ranking American to meet the Russian leader in 10 months.

“I would very much like your visit to Russia to benefit Russia-US relations and promote their development,” Putin told Pompeo as he took a seat across from him in a sleek conference room, saying that they should “fully restore” relations.

Pompeo -- who like most of the US 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.

“We had a very productive conversation on pathways forward in Syria, things we can do together where we have a shared set of interests on how to move the political process forward,” Pompeo told reporters at the airport before flying out.

The United States and Russia are on opposite sides of Syria’s brutal eight-year civil war, with Russia the primary backer of President Bashar al-Assad.

Pompeo said that he and Putin agreed on ways to move ahead with a long-delayed Syrian-led committee that will rewrite the constitution in hopes of a political end to the conflict. Pompeo was the highest-ranking American to see Putin since July when the Russian leader met in Helsinki with Trump -- who shocked the US establishment by seeming to take at face value Putin’s denials of election interference.- AFP


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