Pompeo tells Russia: Don't meddle in next US presidential election

Pompeo crashes Brussels meeting of EU diplomats for Iran talks

Pompeo crashes Brussels meeting of EU diplomats for Iran talks

"Negotiating with the present American government is doubly poisonous... they are not decent humans, they don't stand by anything", he said referring to the U.S. decision to withdraw from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major world powers.

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

Lavrov said the Mueller report and "baseless" allegations of Putin-Trump collusion in the 2016 election had "frozen" the relationship.

Pompeo and Lavrov held three hours of talks earlier in the day. "Interference in the American election is unacceptable", said Pompeo.

"If we didn't put in place assets to defend ourselves that would be negligent", Hook said.

"I urged Russian Federation to reach out to Ukraine's new president [Volodymyr Zelensky] to demonstrate leadership by taking step towards breaking the stalemate", he said.

"We have many differences here but the fact we will continue to discuss the situation that gives us hope that certain agreements could be reached with the support of the United States and Russia", Lavrov said, according to CBS News.

"We are looking for Iran to behave like a normal country", Pompeo said, pointing in part to Tehran's backing of Huthi rebels in Yemen who are under attack from USA ally Saudi Arabia. "It's about trying to find solutions, compromises, places where there are overlapping interests".

Pompeo's comments on the meeting didn't seem to indicate that he'd pressed the Russian president on election interference any harder than Trump had.

As well as the issue of interference in USA elections, the two sides clashed over Venezuela, with Lavrov sharply criticizing Washington for trying to undermine President Nicolas Maduro, who Pompeo said must step down in the face of an economic crisis and large-scale protests against his rule.

Pompeo said he had also complained to Lavrov about USA citizens being detained in Russian Federation, a reference to the case of Paul Whelan, a former Marine accused of espionage, and Michael Calvey, an investor accused of fraud.

Venezuela was a key point of discussion and difference, with the US firm in its commitment to support opposition figure Juan Guaidó as the country's legitimate leader and Russian Federation equally firm in its backing of embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

"We fundamentally do not seek a war with Iran", he said.

The supreme leader said negotiating with the United States was "poison" because the Americans wanted to deprive Iran of its missiles and "strategic depth" in the region.

Lavrov mockingly said that the United States had also promoted democracy in war-torn Iraq and Libya and called for dialogue with Maduro - an option rejected by Washington.

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