US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has canceled his planned visit to Moscow and heading instead to Brussels, according to a State Department official. The official isn't authorized to discuss the itinerary by name and requested anonymity.
The talks will take place in Sochi in the first time Pompeo visits Russian Federation as Secretary of State.
Trump said that Putin had assured him that Russian Federation was not involved in Venezuela - directly contradicting Pompeo and other top officials who for weeks have demanded that Moscow stop backing leftist leader Nicolas Maduro, whom Washington is trying to topple.
Pompeo heads to Moscow Sunday, in his first visit to Russian Federation as chief US diplomat.
But the other issues will be hard, given that Russian interference in Ukraine and Syria has caused and perpetuated those wars, respectively, and that Russian violations of arms control pacts like the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty have pushed the U.S.to withdraw from the INF Treaty and possibly others, according to USA officials. "We have interests that are definitely different and there will be places where we run into hard stops pretty quickly, but there is no doubt there was a desire to begin to try and find paths where we can make real progress on places where we have overlapping interests".
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The U.S.is strengthening its military presence in the Middle East in what officials said was a "direct response to a number of troubling and escalatory indicators and warnings" from Iran.
The meeting holds prominence particularly because Russian Federation and the United States have taken diametrically opposed stands in the ongoing Venezuelan political crisis.
He added: "Even more recently, FBI Director Christopher Wray told the American people that the Russian efforts in the 2018 elections were just a dress rehearsal for 2020 and that we should be prepared for another active measures campaign to attack our election systems".
On May 13, he will arrive in Russian Federation to meet with his team at U.S. Embassy Moscow before meeting with U.S. business leaders and U.S. exchange alumni.