Tillerson, Lavrov to meet in Washington on Syria and Ukraine

Tillerson: US-Russia relations at a low point
Tillerson: US-Russia relations at a low point

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Tillerson: US-Russia relations at a low point 01:27

Story highlights

  • The meeting comes amid recriminations over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections
  • Trump last week again refused to lay the blame for hacking during the race on Moscow

Washington (CNN)Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Washington on Wednesday to discuss Ukraine, Syria and bilateral issues, the State Department announced Monday.

"On Ukraine, the sides will discuss the need to stop the violence in eastern Ukraine and resolve the conflict through the full implementation of the Minsk agreements," the department said in a statement.
"On Syria, the secretary intends to discuss efforts to de-escalate violence, provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people, and set the stage for a political settlement of the conflict," it said.
In addition to the tensions between Washington and Moscow over geopolitics, the meeting also comes against a backdrop of recriminations over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
The announcement came out as former acting Attorney General Sally Yates prepares to testify in front of a Senate subcommittee Monday about the content and timing of what she told the Trump White House about former national security adviser Michael Flynn's ties to Russia.
Her testimony will push the story of the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russia back into the headlines.
In an interview last week, Trump once again refused to blame Russia for attempting to influence the 2016 election through hacking and other means despite an overwhelming consensus by US law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin also spoke by phone last week about the war in Syria for the first time since Trump ordered a missile strike against a Syrian regime air base last month.
The conflict in Ukraine, where Russia has backed separatists, continues unresolved and the US has not lifted sanctions on Russia for its role in the violence there and its annexation of Crimea.