Tillerson, Lavrov Discuss What's Next For US-Russia Relations In First Post-Sanctions Meeting

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held their first meeting since Donald Trump signed into law new sanctions against Moscow which Russia said amounted to a full-scale trade war and ended hopes for better ties, sending relations between the two nations back to their lows, hit during the Obama administration.

According to Reuters, Lavrov who met Tillerson on the sidelines of an international meeting in Manila, said the first thing that Tillerson asked about was Russia's retaliation to new U.S. sanctions against Moscow. "He was primarily interested ... in details of those decisions that we grudgingly made in response to the law on anti-Russian sanctions," Lavrov told reporters after the metting. "We provided an explanation," Lavrov added laconically, referring to Russia's decision to take over a summer-house compound in Moscow leased by the U.S. embassy and an order to slash U.S. diplomatic presence in Russia.

Lavrov also said that he believed his U.S. colleagues were ready to continue dialogue with Moscow on complex issues despite bilateral tensions, and said that Moscow is ready for normalized relations if the US “pulls back from confrontation.

“Lavrov pointed out that the US law on sanctions against Russia has become another link in the chain of steps unfriendly and dangerous for international stability, striking a powerful blow to the prospects for bilateral cooperation,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, published on its website on Sunday. "Naturally, such actions, including the illegal retention of our diplomatic property since December of last year, could not remain unanswered, and won’t be in the future. At the same time, we are ready to normalize our dialogue if Washington pulls back from confrontation."

Lavrov described his talks with Tillerson as lengthy and said they covered a wide range of topics, from the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula to coordination plans between Russia and the United States to withstand attacks.

"We felt the readiness of our U.S. colleagues to continue dialogue. I think there's no alternative to that," Lavrov said. The two sides agreed that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Under Secretary Thomas A. Shannon would continue discussing complex issues on the bilateral agenda.

The Russian foreign minister cited Vladimir Putin who, in an interview to Russian TV last week, explained Moscow's need to retaliate to the U.S. sanctions over its role in the Ukrainian crisis and recently expanded to punish Russia for meddling in the U.S. presidential election. “He said it all there, explaining the reasons behind the decisions we made after long expectations that the US would not follow the path of confrontation,” Lavrov said cited by Interfax. “But, unfortunately, the Russophobic attitude of the members of the Congress prevented this from happening."

Earlier in the week, when speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Tillerson held out hope for better ties. "There's been no belligerence," he said of his dealings with Lavrov. "I think he is as committed as I am to trying to find ways that can bring this relationship back."

However, analysts were skeptical that much progress is likely any time soon on areas such as reducing the violence in Syria's civil war or calming the conflict in eastern Ukraine, let alone reversing Russia's annexation of Crimea. "The backdrop for that is obviously horrible given the Russian anger over the sanctions bill and the continued day-to-day revelations in the Russia probe," said Carnegie Endowment analyst Andrew Weiss, referring to investigations into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

A second former senior U.S. official said he thought the best the two might achieve would be to prevent further deterioration. "Do no harm is the other side of the coin," said the former official who spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he would expect the two men to review those areas such as the arctic, space and arms control where U.S.-Russian cooperation continues.

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In what may be a sign that relations between the two nations have not been irrevocably broken, speaking on Rossiya24 state TV, Lavrov said that Tillerson told him the United States' special representative on Ukraine, Kurt Volker, a former U.S. envoy to NATO, would meet a senior aide to Putin, Vladimir Surkov, "in the nearest future".

"We would be interested to see what impression the U.S. special envoy has on the current state of affairs," Lavrov explained, quoted by Reuters.

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. Washington cites the conflict as a key obstacle to improved relations between Russia and the United States.


Mr 9x19 peopledontwanttruth Sun, 08/06/2017 - 17:33 Permalink

better let the idiots run in circles making stupid basn and self humilite on international scene until nobody trust you and say yea in front but do not give a fuck to you ( vastly happening right now ) than officiel, direct, brutal " fuck off" that gives credit to usa to attack. you make the economy of the weapons, the military, the diplomatic, and all this ton of pita  to fix the situation. russia is very smart. by the way i started to learn the language. prolly the second best invest after gun & ammo

In reply to by peopledontwanttruth

AurorusBorealus attila404 Sun, 08/06/2017 - 18:05 Permalink

The Russians are still talking because it is reasonable to do so.  There is the possibility of major congressional overhaul in the mid-terms.  Trump also is a voice of reason (which tells you how insane U.S. policy-makers are) within the U.S. camp, and it is still possible that Trump may prevail over the neo-con-run Deep State.By continuing to present themselves as the reasonable party, the Russians make the U.S. appear shrill, outlandish and belligerent to most people outside of Washington DC.

In reply to by attila404

BOPOH historian40 Sun, 08/06/2017 - 18:11 Permalink

All the world political and financial leaders are agents of zionist cabal - elders of zion - a small group of men choosen and appointed for their role directly by satan.Satan is the father of lie. Now look at world leaders in this perspective. They are all, after being graduated from the same school, the school of satanic universe, became world recognized experts in telling lies to goyim.But satan worshippers are mistaken thinking about their service will last forever. Satan obsessed with the idea of total material and spiritual destruction, without exception, of humankind as a presious project of the Creator. 

In reply to by historian40

Storm-Clouds Sun, 08/06/2017 - 16:30 Permalink

Kabuki for the sheeple.....
OK here is the deal. A list of (I can hardly say it ) sanctions.
Look at it & tell me which ones do you like?
When can we expect you to cut off the pipelines?
Can you speak to the fat guy in North Korea?
Same time next week?

uhland62 chunga Sun, 08/06/2017 - 21:34 Permalink

Tillerson's brief is more difficult to implement; i.e. try to get Full Spectrum Dominance going against people's will. Lavrov just has to defend encroachment. He's gotta make those contacts entertaining, while in reality they need to ignore the US, which the Russian population already does. 

In reply to by chunga

Father ¢hristmas (not verified) Sun, 08/06/2017 - 16:44 Permalink

Moar theater.  Just fire a few nukes and enslave us already, because that is what we all really want.Do it, none of these clowns on here are gonna stop you.  Half these fucking bozos still think they're gonna buy a wing of the White House in the wake of the collapse of the world currency.The other half are buying water purification devices and bunkers to survive in a post-apocalyptic nuclear fuckall wasteland.Buncha dumb cocksuckers raised on movies.  Whack em out.Now is the time. 

Fartboxbuffet (not verified) Sun, 08/06/2017 - 17:21 Permalink

I dont get this they are attacking each other but yet they sit down for tea lol. O wait i do they are all in bed togother the zio jew bed creating distractions for the sheep and the orders come from the vampires castle in london count Rothschild

Blanco Diablo Sun, 08/06/2017 - 17:41 Permalink

Tillerson has the rogue waffle house waitress Haley undermining him at every turn. Tillerson should fire her.Trump needs a swift kick in the ass for signing such a glaring unconstitutional law.The voters have to fire the fools that voted in sanctions.

uhland62 Blanco Diablo Sun, 08/06/2017 - 21:29 Permalink

if it's unconstitutional there should be someone taking it through the courts which would then invalisate the legislation.Always better to discuss than to bomb, but Russia just needs to ignore the US. Cooperate when there's an opportunity but sideline the US; trying to reason is not worth the time, effort. and resources. 

In reply to by Blanco Diablo

johnnycanuck Sun, 08/06/2017 - 18:09 Permalink

Maybe the Russians figure they don't need to do much else right now other than buy in more popcorn for the Main Event brewing in the US?Clicked a link the other day which brought me to a discussion with some Law Prof named Seth Abramson and according to what is said there, even Hannity is going to have his ass handed to him for contacts with Russians. "#NSA friends tell me they have Hannity in OPERATIONAL calls with knownRIS agents. Team Mueller has it all. He is going down. SAD!"For a whole lot of legalese see here;https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/8/3/1686798/-Abramson-Trump-Russi… it's the kos, so no need to harp about that endlessly. If you have sufficient legal expertise to offer an informed counter argument, please do.

AurorusBorealus Sun, 08/06/2017 - 18:25 Permalink

In other words, Tillerson was fishing to see what the Russian retaliation will be to the attempt to shut down the Nordstream pipeline.  Lavrov, in typicaly Putinesque fashion, gave nothing away.Let me help Tillerson.  Russia will play a long-game.  Their short-term objective will be to rattle global energy markets and drive up the price of energy.  In the longer term, they will seek to further increase U.S. imperial over-reach, by supporting N. Korea and improving its ability to launch a nuclear attack on the U.S.   They will also step up efforts to furnish Shiite groups in the Middle East and central Asia with military equipment to harass U.S. deployments there.The Russian reaction will include one or more of the following:1)  Tell N. Korea to tone down its rhetoric to prevent an immediate war and nuclear exchange.  Russia then will quietly share technology with N. Korea to help to help them better develop their ICBM capabilites.  Expect an arms-agreement as well... possibly a few moth-balled Russian nuclear submarines to help flesh out the N. Korean nuclear threat.2)  Activate Iran and try to cause an incident in the Straights of Hormuz via a Shiite-sympathetic group assaulting an oil-tanker or similar type of move to send a shutter through global energy markets.  Iran could use the incident (if it is appropriately false-flagged to appear to be an act of Sunni radicals) to begin "inspecting" or hampering commercial traffic through the straights.3)  Supply Shiite groups in Iraq and Afghanistan with additional arms to begin a Shiite guerrilla campaign against U.S. forces in those countries.4) Make life as difficult as possible for German companies involved in the Nordstream deal to further strain relations between the U.S. and Germany.  Expect some hand-wringing over the additional costs accrued by the sanctions and in increase in the price of the natural gas that Russia ships to Europe.  They may also wish to cut off gas supplies flowing through Ukraine (citing instability) in order to both create difficulties for Ukraine and pressure Germany into helping complete the Nordstream pipeline.5) Additional trade agreements and arms deals with China and additional arms shipments to Ukraine.6)  If there was any doubt in Russia about the need for a plan to "first-strike" the U.S. that doubt has been removed, especially given McMaster's recent comments about "preventive war" against N. Korea.  The myth that the THAAD missile shield was to ward off N. Korean missiles has been exposed as another U.S. lie.  If this were the case, the U.S. would have no need for a preventative war.  It is now obvious to everyone that the missile shield is designed to combat Russia.  Russia may want a few live-fire exorcises of this shield to see its capabilities and learn to exploit its weaknesses.  N. Korea could be used eventually to test these anti-missile batteries.  Russia will certainly step-up cyber attacks and probes of critical U.S. defense infrastructure to find ways of disabling the U.S. capability to respond to a nuclear-Pearl-Harbor-style attack from Russia.

AurorusBorealus AurorusBorealus Sun, 08/06/2017 - 18:39 Permalink

In summary, the end-game is obvious to all the players.  There are no more secrets.  The U.S. will accept nothing less than the complete subjugation of Russia and her capitulation to every U.S. demand: an end to all Russian energy exports, "regime-change" in every Russian ally, and the destruction of the Russian arms industry.  Unless new leadership emerges in Washington, which seems all but impossible, there will be no negotiations.  Washington is not interested in negotiations.  The only possible outcome, given the course that Washington has set, is World War 3.  There is no other possibility.  The only question is whether or not Russia can convince Europe to sit this one out.

In reply to by AurorusBorealus