Russian President Vladimir Putin told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he had the impression President Donald Trump wanted to restore relations between the US and Russia after the Mueller inquiry exonerated him.
“As you know, just a few days ago, I had the pleasure of talking with the US president on the phone,” Putin told Pompeo on Tuesday, as the two met in Sochi. “I got the impression that the [US] president was inclined to re-establish Russian-American relations and contacts to resolve together the issues that are of mutual interest to us.”
“For our part, we have more than once said that we would also like to fully restore relations, and we hope that now the conditions for that have been met,” Putin added.
Pompeo agreed that there are matters of mutual interest between the US and Russia, where both countries can work together productively.
The Russian president listed security issues, preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction, environmental issues and economic issues such as oil production as some of the areas of mutual interest.
Meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier in the day, Pompeo said that Washington would tolerate no interference by Moscow in the 2020 US presidential election.
Putin also told the top US diplomat that Russia has never interfered in US elections, and that the Mueller probe proved that there were no ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Since the 2016 campaign, many US media outlets and the Democrats have accused Trump of being a “Kremlin agent” and Russia of “meddling” in US election, but no concrete evidence of that has ever been offered.