Published: Thu, May 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Visiting Russian foreign minister, asked about Comey firing: 'You're kidding!'

"The goal of both President Trump and President (Vladimir) Putin is to have concrete results which will be tangible and which will allow (us) to alleviate problems, including on the worldwide agenda", Lavrov told journalists.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions also recused himself from the probe of Russian ties to the Trump campaign after admitting that he failed to disclose during his confirmation hearing that he held two meetings with Kislyak previous year.

The meeting came amid tensions between the US and Russian Federation as the two countries hold differences on a slew of issues, including the Syrian conflict, the Ukrainian crisis and the expansion of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The Trump campaign has been accused of colluding with Russian officials to win the 2016 election. He says through a translator that "there is not a single fact" or piece of compelling evidence proving Russia's intervention in the election.

"I thought it was very, very good", Trump told reporters after the meeting.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's top diplomat did not speak to reporters and as he walked into a side entrance Wednesday morning.

The Wednesday meeting was especially newsworthy given the timing and circumstances, with Comey having reportedly just asked for more resources to investigate Trump associates' ties to Russian Federation and the earlier conclusion of the USA intelligence community that Vladimir Putin's government interfered in the presidential election to boost Trump.

Tillerson's office says his meetings with Lavrov will focus on "Ukraine, Syria, and bilateral issues".

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Lavrov, who earlier met with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, said his discussions with members of the Trump administration had convinced him they were people who wanted to cut deals and solve problems.

The Kremlin has denied any interference in the USA campaign, and said earlier Wednesday that Comey's firing had "nothing to do" with Russian Federation. Lavrov is the highest-ranking Russian official Trump has met with so far as president.

Peskov calls it "an entirely domestic matter" for the United States.

Wednesday's meetings followed talks Tillerson held with Putin last month in Moscow. Nevertheless, Mr Lavrov struck a conciliatory tone and said Russian Federation isn't intending to retaliate.

Unlike many of Putin's closest circle of advisors, Lavrov does not have a background in the Russian security services; he spent 10 years representing Russia at the U.N. Security Council instead.

Two US officials have said Flynn is one of the subjects of investigations into contacts between Trump's advisers and the Russian government during and after last year's election.

It also will be a sign that the two countries have improved ties.

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