Pompeo came to Putin seeking to reset U.S. ties. The secretary of state and the Russian president could only agree that many issues stand in the way
17:30, Wednesday, 15 May, 2019
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he came to this Black Sea resort city on Tuesday on a mission for President Trump: Improve U.S. ties with Russia. “There are places that our two countries can find where we can be cooperative, we can be productive, we can be accumulative, we can work together to make each of our two peoples more successful and frankly the world more successful, too,” Pompeo told Putin at the start of their meeting. “President Trump wants to do everything we can.” On Iran, Venezuela and Russian interference in U.S. elections, Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov voiced sharp disagreement at a joint news conference. Still, Pompeo’s first trip to Russia as secretary of state represented a remarkable new attempt by the Trump administration to find fresh footing in its most politically treacherous international relationship.
After several hours of talks between Pompeo and Lavrov — and another 90 minutes between Pompeo and Putin — Kremlin foreign policy adviser Yury Ushakov praised Pompeo for holding a “not bad, concrete conversation.” Trump has voiced a desire since his presidential campaign to cooperate with Russia on global challenges. But he never followed through on that desire with policy amid intense political head winds.