Trump, Russian foreign minister to meet Tuesday
President Trump will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday during the diplomat’s visit to Washington.
“President Trump will meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia tomorrow to discuss the state of the bilateral relationship,” a senior administration official told The Hill on Monday.
Lavrov was expected to meet with Pompeo in D.C. on Tuesday to discuss various regional and bilateral issues.
Trump has long expressed a desire to improve relations with Moscow, though tensions have run high as a result of Russia’s election interference, Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine, disagreements on arms control and other issues.
Trump has imposed sanctions on Russia for election interference and the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Britain, moves that have drawn ire from Moscow.
The president said in November that he was considering accepting an invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Russia for its annual May Day parade next year, though he suggested it was unlikely given that it’s “right in the middle of our campaign season.”
Tuesday’s meeting with Lavrov also comes against a backdrop of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Trump.
Democrats have alleged Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine meant to counter Russian aggression in order to pressure Kyiv to launch investigations that could benefit him politically. Trump has insisted there was no quid pro quo in his interactions with Ukraine, dismissing the inquiry as a partisan “witch hunt.”
The visit will mark Lavrov’s first official visit to Washington since 2017. Trump made headlines when he allegedly shared classified information with Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak during an Oval Office meeting.