U.S. and Russian Federation chief diplomats show 'readiness' to talk despite escalating tensions

Rex Tillerson

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (sir-GAY' lahv-RAWF') are sitting down in Manila, Philippines, on the sidelines of a regional gathering.

Tillerson said he would respond to the matter by September 1, adding that the U.S. and Russian Federation should find ways to work together.

On August 2, US President Donald Trump signed into law the "Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act" that effectively imposes new sanctions against North Korea, Iran and Russian Federation.

US Congress and a special prosecutor are investigating allegations that Russians managed to tip the results of the historic vote a year ago in US President Donald Trump's favour.

Lavrov told reporters that despite strained relations with Washington, his country was ready for more engagement with the United States on North Korea, Syria, Ukraine and other pressing matters.

"It was a positive meeting", he said, adding that he would later also meet the U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, on Sunday evening during the summit. He said the USA and Russian Federation have deep differences, but that it's not a good idea to "just cut everything off on one single issue".

Speaking at a security forum in Manila, Washington's top diplomat said Kim Jong-Un's regime must halt ballistic missile tests if it wanted to talk to the United States about resolving the standoff.




Heightened tension is also tied to a US investigation into links between members of Trump's campaign team and Russian officials.

"We simply have to find some way to deal with that", Tillerson said. Let's try to work together.

Lavrov reiterated that Moscow and Beijing had agreed to promote Russia's proposal - which aims to gradually restore trust and create "proper conditions" to restart six-party talks - in their "practical activities".

He said he communicated USA plans to respond by that deadline to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov when they met Sunday in Manila. We hope that our contacts with the United States will continue also in relation to other aspects, both military and political, of the Syrian settlement.

"For the Trump administration, it's first about isolating and addressing the North Korea threat and later perhaps about re-balancing China and regaining a bigger place at the Asean table", the article quoted Thitinan Pongsudhirak, director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, as saying. Russian Federation will respond accordingly in the future.

The statement warned "Russia will respond accordingly in the future", though it added Moscow is ready to fix ties "if Washington abandons its confrontational line".

Washington sent Volker to Ukraine last month to assess the situation in the ex-Soviet republic, where a 2015 ceasefire between Kiev's forces and Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country is regularly violated. Despite the striking back initiatives, Russian Federation keeps the positive tone in the relations with the United States.

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