Russia is not a fire brigade to rescue Iran deal: Putin

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

"They have chosen poorly by focusing on threats", Hook said, referring to Pompeo's scheduled visit to Russian Federation on Tuesday for meetings with President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. "If the Russians were to engage in that in 2020 it would put our relationship in an even worse place than it has been".

"We can not rescue everything", Mr. Putin said. There is a growing list of issues dividing the two countries - Russia's interference in the 2016 elections, Syria, Venezuela and, with tensions now growing in the Persian Gulf, Iran.

Lavrov however repeated Moscow's denials of interference and said it was "absolute fiction" that Russian Federation had colluded with the Trump campaign.

"Such insinuations are absolutely fake", he said.

Pompeo and Lavrov, who appeared at ease with other, were to brief President Vladimir Putin on the meeting in the evening.

The fact that the latest missile test-firing took place right at a time when US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun was visiting South Korea also indicates that Pyongyang is determined to pile pressure on Washington in order to force the issue over the US-North Korea talks.

Putin told Pompeo his recent telephone conversation with Trump raised hopes for an improvement in relations.

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A Kremlin spokesman later said Putin would be open to a new meeting with Trump. "Iran, after signing of the treaty, is the most verifiable and most transparent country in the world in this sense", he said.

"Despite the exotic nature of Mr. Mueller's commission, on the whole, he conducted quite an objective investigation and confirmed the absence of any collusion between the USA administration and Russian Federation", he said.

SHAPIRO: Another big issue dividing the countries is Venezuela.

The visit, as noted by the Financial Times, "comes amid speculation over the potential for new US sanctions against Russian Federation, clashes between the two countries over the crisis in Venezuela and moves by the isolate Iran, an ally of Moscow". "We want the Venezuelan people to get their democracy back".

Reports, meanwhile, keep flooding in that Spain's Defence Minister Margarita Robles has ordered the "temporary measure of withdrawal of the frigate Méndez Núñez (F-104) from the combat group of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln while it is in the Middle East". "We have also made clear to the Iranians that if American interests are attacked we will most certainly respond in the appropriate fashion".

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

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