Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has meet privately with Donald Trump in Washington DC. After the meeting, Lavrov gave a public press conference at the Russian Embassy in Washington.
The meeting seemed to take a positive tone. No re-set buttons or other gimmicks were on the table, just serious talk on major international issues like Syria, North Korea, Afghanistan and the Kiev/Donbass conflict.
Lavrov praised the attitude of the Trump administration which he contrasted sharply with that of the Obama White House. Lavrov described the changes in the following way,
“Our dialogue as of now is free from ideology that was very typical for Obama’s administration.
Both Trump and Secretary of State and his administration as I realised today once again are business-like people and they want to reach agreements not for the sake of demonstrating their achievements to anyone in terms of their ideological preferences”.
In other words Lavrov seems to feel that he can work with the Trump administration because it acts in a more practical manner than its predecessor.
When asked about the tired old allegations of ‘Russian hacking’, Lavrov echoed sentiments voiced earlier in The Duran, that such blatantly unsubstantiated allegations do not shame Russia but instead, embarrass the United States.
Lavrov described the essence of the Russiagate allegations by saying,
“It’s humiliating for American people to believe that the Russian Federation is controlling the domestic situation in the United States. How can it be possible for such a great power?”
Lavrov: i feel bemused that you – serious people – are asking me these questions and im forced to answer them (re: Russia allegations)
— Alexey Yaroshevsky (@Yaro_RT) May 10, 2017
In respect of Syria, Lavrov rejected calls for an artificial time-table for withdrawal, instead he encouraged all sides to maintain a commitment to the Astana and Geneva peace processes. He seemed positive about future cooperation with the US on Syria.
Both Sergey Lavrov and Donald Trump discussed the implementation of so-called de-escalation zones or safe zones. To that effect, Lavrov said,
“We hope that the frameworks within which this process is evolving will be acceptable to all parties”.
It would appear that Donald Trump’s first meeting with a high level Russian minister of state was something of a success, albeit a guarded one on America’s part.
It seems that Donald Trump’s plan to act reasonably and pragmatically with countries like Russia and China may yet come to some form of fruition. It is too early to say that it will, but luckily also too early to definitively say that it will not.