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Putin lauds Mueller probe, favours restoration of full-scope relations with US

ANI  |  Europe 

Russian on Tuesday favoured the restoration of "full-scope relations" with the during a meeting with the US Michael here.

The Russian leader's comments come as the announced its intent to withdraw from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, citing breaches by as the reason behind the decision.

The US is slated to withdraw from the accord by August this year, warning that the treaty will terminate if "does not return to full and verifiable compliance" with it, according to an official statement.

During the meeting with Pompeo, Putin outlined his recent phone conversation with his US counterpart, Donald Trump, left the impression that the US wanted to restore relations as well.

"As you know, a few days ago I had the pleasure to talk to the US over the phone, I had an impression that the was in favor of restoring the Russia-US ties, contacts, jointly resolving the issues of common interest," Sputnik quoted Putin as saying.

"On our part, we have repeatedly said that we would also like to restore the full-scope relations," he added.

Pompeo, on the other hand, said that the two countries would hold more extensive conversations on arms control in the "weeks ahead."

"We'll have a more extensive set of conversations both on arms control and an opportunity to discuss all broad strategic security issues between our two countries in the weeks ahead," said.

"As for its extension, what we agreed to do is gather teams that will begin to work not only on New START... and its potential extension but on a broader range of arms control issues," the also said.

This comes as US suspended its obligations under the INF treaty, which aimed to curb the arms race between the US and Moscow, in retaliation, mirrored Washington's move immediately.

The Russian leader also welcomed the probe undertaken by US into Russian collusion in the 2016 in the He said that Mueller conducted an "objective" investigation, which proved no Russian interference in Trump's 2016 Presidential campaign.

"We should give (Mueller) credit. In general, he conducted an objective probe and confirmed the absence of any traces and collusion between Russia and the current administration, which we initially characterised as complete nonsense: there was no interference on our part in the elections in the United States at the state level, and could not be," Putin stated.

Before meeting with Putin, held talks with the Russian Foreign

Lavrov welcomed talks between the Presidents of the two nations during the upcoming summit, the idea of which was floated by Trump.

"We heard statements by president Trump that he expects to hold a meeting with President Putin, including during the Summit in If we receive an official invitation we will respond positively. We talked about that today with Mike Pompeo," he said.

The Russian also said that he handed Pompeo an "unofficial memorandum of sorts" which lists "factual proof" of US interference in Russia's domestic affairs.

The two sides also spoke on other issues, like and during the meeting.

The two officials also held a joint presser, during which Lavrov said that Russia-US tensions have a negative impact on the "global situation."

"Russia is interested in normalizing bilateral dialogue with the US and we are convinced that it is quite possible to conduct this dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and consideration of each other's interests," Lavrov said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 15 2019. 04:09 IST