Pompeo meets Lavrov amid hope for improved US-Russia ties

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"In general, he conducted an impartial investigation and confirmed the absence of all sorts of traces and any kind of collusion between Russian Federation and the current administration, something we initially described as utter nonsense", he said.

According to Pompeo, the parties also talked about implementation and "how we might move forward in obtaining a ceasefire in the Donbas region".

Russian Federation 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.

Russian Foreign Minister Serguei Lavrov has rejected USA threats against the Venezuelan government and said it has nothing to do with democracy.

"For our part, we have repeatedly said that we would also like to restore full-format relations".

While Pompeo said Tuesday that the USA and Russian Federation "have been working very closely together on [sanctions] in a very productive fashion", Pyongyang and Moscow have in recent months signaled a desire to avoid the full repatriation of North Korean workers from Russian Federation by late December, as required under current sanctions.

"If Russia engaged in that in 2020, it would put our relationship in an even worse place than it has been.

It's threats that we hear against Maduro's government, threats of the mouths of officials.this has nothing in common with democracy", argued Lavrov.

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Heads of Russian and US diplomacy on Tuesday met in the Russian coastal city of Sochi for the second time in two weeks amid hopes for improved ties between the two countries.

In January, Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself acting president, fueling the tension in the country in the wake of protests after President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.

Ties between the two countries have been poisoned by allegations - denied by Moscow - that Russian Federation tried to influence the results of the 2016 USA presidential election, and by differences over Venezuela, Iran, Syria and Ukraine.

Now that the Mueller report was out of the way, Putin said he hoped ties would start improving. A Kremlin spokesperson rejected the notion that Putin's schedule was an intentional "message" for the USA administration.

The U.S. administration and the Kremlin have different views on the process of resolving the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, despite the desire of Donald Trump's administration to bring relations closer with Russia. "It's about trying to find solutions, compromises, places where there are overlapping interests".

On the Crimea issue, Pompeo reiterated the US rejection of Russia's "attempted annexation of Crimea".

"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.

"We will try to clarify with Pompeo how the Americans plan to get out of this crisis, which was created by their unilateral decisions", Lavrov told reporters as he met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Sochi on Monday.

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