Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that U.S. and Russia should seek ways to solve international problems together, despite significant differences on many key questions, after his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House.
“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.
He also said that Russia and the U.S. will continue to work together on various issues, most notably the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.
“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 commented that he and Trump did not discuss about the alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election. Russian Foreign Minister remarked that the media hype around the subject is an ‘orgy’.
“I think this is even humiliating for American people to hear that US internal affairs are being governed by Russia. How can it be that such a great nation is thinking in this way?” Lavrov said.
U.S. President said that his meeting with Lavrov was ‘very good‘.
“President Trump emphasized the need to work together to end the conflict in Syria, in particular, underscoring the need for Russia to rein in the Assad regime, Iran, and Iranian proxies,” the White House said in a statement following the meeting.
The meeting between Trump and Lavrov is one of the highest-level contacts between Moscow and Washington since Trump took office in January. Russia and the U.S. have diametrically different approach to key issues such as Syria and Ukraine.
U.S.-Russia relations were strained after the U.S. missile strike on the Syrian air-base last month. Russia remains the most important ally of the al-Assad regime in Damascus, and together with Iran continues to provide military support in the regime’s struggle against rebel forces, ISIS and other Islamic militants. Trump’s administration, on the other hand, has yet to define its policy on Syria.
Photo credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation