Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the probability of a new meeting between Presidents of Russia and the United States Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. " Our presidents agreed to meet when they have an opportunity. I am sure that such an opportunity will present itself and you will hear about it from the Kremlin," Lavrov said after talks with US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Monday, May 6 on the sidelines of the ministerial session of the Arctic Council in Finland.
Earlier, the question of a possible meeting between the two leaders was commented upon by Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov. According to him, after the May 3 telephone conversation between Putin and Trump there are no plans for a personal meeting between the two yet.
The telephone conversation between the Russian and American leaders lasted an hour and a half. During this time, Putin and Trump discussed the situation in Venezuela and developments involving the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the possible conclusion of a new nuclear agreement between Moscow, Washington and Beijing, as well as Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's report on Russia's alleged interference in the US presidential election of 2016.
Given the current tense relations between Moscow and Washington, Dmitry Peskov's statement once again confirms that the Kremlin is extremely cautious about its relations with the White House and is not particularly eager to initiate a summit. Suffice it to say that Trump's phone call to Putin last Friday was initiated by the American side. The talks between the foreign ministers of Russia and the United States were spontaneous to some extent and not prepared in advance, so the news of the agreed meeting in Rovaniemi turned almost a sensation.
It is worth noting that much of the Lavrov-Pompeo negotiations was "off screen" because the meeting took place behind closed doors, despite the apparently extensive list of issues discussed. Although the Russian minister called the conversation with his American counterpart "good and constructive," it clearly demonstrated that Moscow and Washington have diametrically opposed views on the main issues that were raised during these talks.
Have at least the situation in Venezuela with its failed coup. Just the day before, Washington predicted a rapid change of power in Caracas and roughly advised Russia, via the same Pompeo, to "get out" of this country, and Moscow warned in response that the power scenario would turn into a disaster.
Washington seems to be finally beginning to understand this. In particular, after the above-mentioned meeting CNN quoted Mike Pompeo as saying that Washington and Moscow are able to work together, and the United States is entering a new phase of its relations with Russia.
It is no coincidence that Lavrov explained the very calm rhetoric right at the meeting with Pompeo, saying that the talks "tried to focus on real politics" rather than "political statements made for public consumption."
In this regard, the journalists covering the meeting got the impression that Russia and the United States were planning some kind of agreement, so it is entirely possible that new negotiations at the highest level are going to take place after all. For example, as The National Interest magazine pointed out the other day, the United States, seeking to normalize bilateral relations, may work out a provisional agreement with Russia.
Despite the difference of opinion between Moscow and Washington, namely on Syria, Ukraine and the disarmament issues, Lavrov and Pompeo have once again demonstrated that solving any important global challenges (right now – the Venezuelan crisis) is next to impossible without Russia and the United States. It is no accident that as soon as the public heard about the meeting between the foreign ministers of Russia and the United States, the session of the Arctic Council in Rovaniemi turned into a hype involving hundreds of foreign correspondents.
Lavrov and Pompeo, be it noted, have not seen each other since last summer. They had a one-on-one meeting here in Finland, when Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump held their first summit. It is no accident in this regard that after talks with the US Secretary of State Foreign Minister Lavrov once again mentioned the leaders of the two countries: "I think we took a fairly good step forward, following up on the telephone conversation that took place between President of Russia Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump several days ago."
In his turn, Mike Pompeo, when assessing the meeting with Sergey Lavrov, said that he had a "good conversation" with the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry and hopes to make progress in relations with Russia. " We have interests that are definitely different. ... There was a desire to begin to try and find paths where we can make real progress on places where we have overlapping interests, as narrow as they may be, and hope we can achieve that," Pompeo added at a briefing on the sidelines of the Arctic Council.
Recently, especially after Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller revealed no secret deals between Donald Trump and the Kremlin, Washington is apparently trying to improve relations with Moscow, considering Iran and China as major threats to the United States. The recent telephone conversation between Trump and Putin, as well as Sergey Lavrov's meeting with Mike Pompeo "on the sidelines" of the Arctic Council in Finland became a confirmation of this.
I should like to believe that the United States' craving for good relations with Russia is sincere, not being a desire to set the Moscow-Washington tandem against America's confrontation with China or Iran. In this regard it is instructive to remind the White House that Russia will not ally with the United States against any third country, especially when it comes to its associates and close partners, such as Beijing and Tehran.