26 February 2020

Lavrov says he never met with alleged CIA spy Smolenkov

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday he had never met former staff member of the Russian presidential administration Oleg Smolenkov, whom media reports refer to as a possible CIA agent. reports citing TASS.

"I have never seen him, I have never met him, and I have neither kept track of his career nor his movements," Lavrov said, stressing that he could only comment on the facts.

"You have mentioned my meeting with President Trump in May 2017 in the White house. Well, no one shared any state or even non-state secrets with anyone during that conversation," Russia’s top diplomat emphasized. "By the way, this was confirmed by US National Security Advisor McMaster, who was present at that meeting, as well as other people, who are somehow familiar with what was discussed then."

According to Lavrov, at the meeting with the US leader the sides discussed the need to mend bilateral relations and rectify that damage inflicted by the administration of former US President Barack Obama to bilateral cooperation, by actually "disrupting all meaningful mechanisms of cooperation between Moscow and Washington before the departure [of Barack Obama's administration] from the White House."

"We spoke with President Trump about the fact that this does not do any good to our bilateral ties since this affects business as well as cultural and humanitarian exchanges. This does not benefit international relations and efforts of the international community on solving numerous problems, a solution to which, as many have said and continue saying, largely depends on cooperation between Russia and the US," Lavrov pointed out.

2019.09.10 / 23:39
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