After the U.S. passed a sweeping sanctions bill against Russia, President Vladimir Putin ordered 755 U.S. diplomatic personnel out of their posts. The U.S. has stayed relatively quiet since, but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in the Philippines over the weekend to discuss the expulsion, and now says he expects the U.S. to have an official response to Russia by September 1:
“I don’t think it is useful to just cut everything off on one single issue,” Tillerson said following his first meeting with Lavrov since the new sanctions were imposed. “These are two very large countries and we should find places that we can work together, let’s try to work together. Places we have our differences, we’re going to have to continue to find a way to address those.”
The two countries have had some diplomatic success recently, mainly in negotiating a cease-fire in Syria, but the issue of Russian interference in the 2016 election hangs over all their dealings.
While Tillerson noted that Russian election interference had “created serious mistrust between our two countries,” Trump has continued to express doubt about the meddling, especially while stressing his distrust in the U.S. intelligence community. Throughout, Trump has also denied collusion between his camp and Russia during election season.
(Via Associated Press)