WASHINGTON – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia and the US should seek ways to solve international problems together, despite any difficulties in relations, following a meeting with US President Donald Trump.
“First of all, we have discussed our cooperation on the international stage. It’s been confirmed that despite all the difficulties, our countries can and must act together to help solve key problems on today’s international agenda,” Lavrov said at a press conference at the Russian embassy in Washington, following a meeting with President Trump.
The US and Russia will continue working together on various issues, including the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, Lavrov noted, adding they aim to remove all barriers hindering efficient cooperation.
Meetings between Tillerson’s and Lavrov’s deputies will continue in order to tackle “those irritants that have been artificially planted into our relations,” the Russian foreign minister said.
Lavrov: our talks now are free of ideology, as they were in Obama's era, but we talk business now. How to solve world issues together
— Alexey Yaroshevsky (@Yaro_RT) May 10, 2017
“We have thoroughly discussed Syria, including those ideas about creating de-escalation zones. We have a shared understanding that this must be a step made jointly to put an end to violence in Syria,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov said that he and President Trump did not touch upon the subject of Russia’s alleged meddling in the US elections in 2016, calling the media hype around the subject an “orgy.”
However, reporters apparently would not let the issue lie, repeating the same question several times. Lavrov was compelled to repeat that there has been no solid evidence of any meddling.
After being asked about the issue for a fourth time, Lavrov looked somewhat annoyed as he replied that he had “already answered.”
Anti-Russian sanctions were not among the topics discussed with Trump either, Lavrov said.
“We didn’t discuss the sanctions. This is not our problem. This is a unilateral act that has been done against us,” he said.
When asked about the situation in Afghanistan, Lavrov denied accusations that Russia is providing Taliban militants with weapons.
“We spoke about this a lot – give us one piece of proof,” Lavrov said. “There are no serious experts on Afghanistan, those who are not trying to gain cheap popularity, who would say that we are helping the Taliban.”