Don't force democracy on Venezuela, Russia tells US

Pompeo crashes Brussels meeting of EU diplomats for Iran talks

Pompeo crashes Brussels meeting of EU diplomats for Iran talks

Federica Mogherini, the European Union's diplomatic chief, stressed the need for dialogue following a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who made a last-minute visit to Brussels on Monday to share information on "escalating" threats from Iran.

After meeting with Putin, Pompeo told reporters: "So it's not about moving on".

Pompeo's trip has been seen as a precursor to a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Putin at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, next month.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he had a frank exchange on the situation in Venezuela with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the southern Russian resort of Sochi on Tuesday.

"President Trump has made clear that his expectation is that we will have an improved relationship". This will benefit each of our people. Russian Federation has opposed United States pressure with Iran and has worked alongside Iran in Syria backing the Syrian regime. "And I think that our talks here today were a good step in that direction".

Pompeo told reporters after his talks with Putin that the two sides had a "very productive" conversation on Syria and how to move the political process there forward and were able to "make some truly constructive process points" on Afghanistan.

They also discussed North Korea, which both want to see give up its nuclear weapons.

"We fundamentally do not seek a war with Iran", Pompeo said during a visit to Russian Federation, a key backer of Tehran which has blamed the current crisis on Washington's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. The U.S. has accused Iran of threatening to attack American interests in the Middle East and suggested that Iran or Iranian proxies are behind incidents of alleged sabotage on Emirati, Norwegian and Saudi tankers in the Persian Gulf.

Pompeo canceled a visit to Moscow on Monday and stopped in Brussels instead, en route to Sochi.

The top US diplomat also issued a few stern warnings to Moscow saying it should refrain from interfering in the 2020 U.S election, free captured Ukrainian sailors and try to make peace with Kyiv. Given, however, the demonstrated inability of this American administration to seek win-win solutions with its nominal allies, there might be no alternative way for Europe to assert its interests.

Russian Federation should now work with Ukraine's new president-elect to bring peace to eastern Ukraine, said Pompeo, adding that he wanted Moscow to free a group of captured Ukrainian sailors.

Hook also downplayed one point of contention with Europe: a new trade mechanism recently launched by Germany, France, and Britain to allow financial flows to be sent to Iran that would not violate US sanctions. Both men deny wrongdoing.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on May 13 before meeting with Pompeo in Brussels that Britain, France, and Germany were "very anxious about the risk of a conflict happening by accident with an escalation that is unintended really on either side".

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