Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Senior US, Russian diplomats hold "tough" talks: US State Department

US State Department
The US State Department said on Tuesday that senior US and Russian diplomats had held "tough" talks here on areas of mutual concern.

"Following the recent meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hamburg, Germany, and multiple bilateral senior-level engagements, Under Secretary Thomas A. Shannon Jr. met his Russian counterpart Sergei Ryabkov Monday to continue discussing areas of mutual concern," a State Department statement said.

According to the statement, the discussion was "tough, forthright, and deliberate, reflecting both parties' commitment to a resolution."

"The United States and Russia seek a long-term solution that would address areas of bilateral concern that have strained the relationship. The talks reflected a spirit of goodwill, but it is clear that more work needs to be done," the statement added.

Also on Tuesday, Moscow issued a more strongly worded statement, threatening to impose tit-for-tat measures if Washington does not return Russian diplomatic property the US had seized.

"The Russian side stressed that if Washington does not remove this and other irritants, including continued obstacles to the work of our diplomatic institutions, we reserve the right to take retaliatory measures based on the principle of reciprocity," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

As part of US response to alleged Russian meddling in the US 2016 election, former US President Barack Obama's administration expelled 35 Russian government officials from the United States and shuttered two Russian government-owned compounds.

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