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Russia says 'destructive' U.S. approach is blocking cooperation

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Moscow. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo in a phone call on Thursday that Washington’s “destructive” approach to ties with Moscow was impeding bilateral cooperation, Russia’s foreign ministry said.

Lavrov told the U.S. secretary of state the United States should immediately stop “persecuting” detained Russian citizen Maria Butina, who is being held in the United States on suspicion of acting as a Russian agent.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Roche