15 May

Vladimir Putin received US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at his Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi


President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Secretary of State, colleagues,

We are happy to welcome you to Russia.

As you know, just recently, a couple of days ago, I had the pleasure of talking with the President of the United States by telephone. I got the impression that the President is in favour of restoring Russia-US ties and contacts and resolving issues of mutual interest.

For our part, we have said many times that we would also like to restore relations on a full scale. I hope that the necessary conditions for this are being created now since, despite the exotic character of Mr Mueller’s work, he should be given credit for conducting what is generally an objective inquiry. He reaffirmed the lack of any trace or collusion between Russia and the current administration, which we described as sheer nonsense fr om the very start. There was no, nor could there be any interference on our part in the US election at the government level. Nevertheless, regrettably, these allegations have served as a reason for the deterioration of our interstate ties.

I hope the situation is changing today; we have common interests, such as the preservation of strategic stability, the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the settlement of regional crises, the struggle against organised crime, efforts to resolve environmental issues, counter global poverty and other threats of our time, plus there are also economic issues. Although regrettably our trade has always been low and has moved towards zero in the past few years, last year we recorded some increase, I think a bit over 5 percent.

We know that the United States is becoming and has already become a major oil producer, and in this sense we have something to discuss in order to ensure stability in the global energy markets. There are also other possibilities for economic cooperation. I hope all this will be open to discussion.

Now, our Foreign Minister has told me very briefly about your talks. I would like very much for your visit to Russia – and this is your first visit to this country as the Secretary of State – to benefit our bilateral ties and facilitate development.

We are very happy to see you. Welcome.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Thank you, Mr President. Thank you for spending some time with me this evening. We did have a productive set of conversations this afternoon between us. There are places we disagree, there are places I think are truly overlapping interests that we can build on. And most importantly President Trump very much wants to do that. We’ll protect our nations’ interests, but there are places that our two countries can find wh ere we can be cooperative, we can be productive, we can be accumulative, we can work together to make each of our two peoples more successful, and frankly, the world more successful, too.

So President Trump wants to do everything we can. And he asked me to travel here to communicate that and, when we have a chance in a little bit, a couple of other ideas he suggests. But some of our cooperation has been excellent. On North Korea. On Afghanistan, we’ve done good work. Counter-terrorism work together. These are things we can build upon. And then I know we’ll get a chance to talk about our strategic security dialogue as well, and the hopes that we have for that, to work alongside you on that very, very globally important project.

So thank you again for having me, Mr Putin.