August 1, 2018 / 8:20 AM / 3 months ago

U.S. says Pompeo, Russia's Lavrov will not meet this week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will not meet on the sidelines of a gathering of southeast Asian nations in Singapore this week, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a press conference at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the State Department in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Alex Wroblewski/File Photo

“We have no plans to meet with Foreign Minister Lavrov on this trip,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Earlier on Wednesday the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement it was trying to set up a meeting between Lavrov and Pompeo when the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met.

The RIA agency, citing a source in the Russian delegation, had earlier said the two would not meet during the ASEAN talks.

Lavrov’s and Pompeo’s schedules do not allow a meeting this week and “it was decided to work out other opportunities ...,” the source told RIA.

Lavrov and Pompeo spoke by telephone days after U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s one-on-one July 16 meeting in Helsinki.

Pompeo will also not meet with his Iranian counterpart during the trip, the State Department has said.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh in Moscow and Lesley Wroughton in Washington; Writing by Polina Nikolskaya; Editing by Alison Williams and James Dalgleish

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