U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov agreed to work to normalize strained relations and restore bilateral channels of communication following talks Tuesday at the Black Sea resort of Sochi. However the elephant in the room today is also the crisis in Venezuela, where the USA has accused Russian Federation of backing Nicolas Maduro and encouraging Maduro to stay in power after the United States hoped that opposition leader Juan Guaido might come to power last month with backing from the military.
Pompeo, speaking earlier at a joint news conference with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, acknowledged deep differences on election meddling - and warned Russian Federation to stay out of next year's vote.
Pompeo had planned a visit to Moscow beforehand, but it was scrapped so that he could travel to Belgium to talk with European officials about the growing threat posed by Iran.
Asked if Pompeo was blaming Iran for the attacks, Hook said: "We discussed ... what seemed to be attacks on commercial vessels that were anchored off Fujairah ... we have been requested by the UAE to provide assistance in the investigation, which we are very glad to do".
Although Pompeo and Lavrov discussed a wide range of bilateral and worldwide problems, including the situations in Iran, North Korea, Ukraine, Syria and Venezuela, there were no major breakthroughs on any of those issues.
Pompeo - who like most of the U.S. political class, with the major exception of President Donald Trump, has been outspoken in his criticism of Putin - said that the two countries found areas on which to cooperate, and voiced optimism in breaking a deadlock on Syria.
Lavrov said the Mueller report and "baseless" allegations of Putin-Trump collusion in the 2016 election had "frozen" the relationship.
The intimidations of the White House and the self-proclaimed president, the usurper Juan Guaido, have nothing to do with democracy, Lavrov said in a joint press conference in Sochi with the Head of US diplomacy, Michael Pompeo.
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President Trump, though, was less assuring.
"We continue to fully support the nuclear deal with Iran, its full implementation", Mogherini said.
Pompeo was set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin at his residence in Sochi later in the evening, for the countries' highest-level bilateral talks in almost a year.
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.
To deter those threats and counter any possible attack, the US sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Middle East, heightening already high levels of unease caused by the re-imposition of USA sanctions on Tehran following Trump's withdrawal of the USA from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal a year ago.
His inquiry had cast a pall over U.S.
President Donald Trump is seeking to isolate Tehran by cutting off its oil exports after pulling out of a 2015 deal aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear program.
The meeting comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday about tensions in Syria.
Putin's foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov said later that the Kremlin is prepared to agree to any format for a Putin-Trump meeting.