Tue, 28 Jan 2020

Washington [US], Dec 10 (ANI) - A meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has kicked off at the State Department on Tuesday and both the leaders are likely to discuss Ukraine, Syria, arms control and other issues related to bilateral relations.

"The two top diplomats have begun their negotiations in Washington," the Russian Embassy in the United States said on Twitter.

During the talks in Washington, Minister Lavrov and Pompeo will exchange views on key international issues and important aspects of bilateral relations.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold a joint press conference on Tuesday afternoon. Meanwhile, President Trump and Lavrov are scheduled to meet later Tuesday in the Oval Office, a senior U.S. administration official has said.

There are a number of issues that can be discussed from arms control to Ukraine and Syria, but reportedly Trump has asked Pompeo to work on the US-Russia business relationship and that he and Sergey Lavrov will also discuss arms control issues that hopefully can be expanded to include China, Fox News reported.

The two countries' top diplomats will "discuss a broad range of regional and bilateral issues," according to a State Department statement released on December 9.

This week's meeting comes amid the backdrop of Democrats' ongoing impeachment inquiry.

House Democratic leaders announced on Tuesday that they will bring two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress to set in motion the third impeachment of a US president in history.

Democrats charge that Trump abused his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rivals ahead of the 2020 election while withholding a White House meeting and $400 million in US security aid from Kiev. And they say that Trump then obstructed the investigation into his misconduct with a blanket blockade of subpoenas and refusing to allow key senior officials to testify before Congress.

Lavrov's last official visit to Washington was in May 2017 because Trump reportedly shared highly classified information in the Oval Office with the foreign minister and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. (ANI)

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