February 15, 2017 / 8:37 AM / 9 months ago

Russian foreign ministry says meeting planned between Lavrov, Tillerson

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A meeting is planned between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of a gathering of G20 foreign ministers in Germany, Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a joint news conference following a meeting with his Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani in Moscow, Russia February 7, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

It will be the first time Lavrov meets his newly appointed counterpart and comes as U.S.-Russia relations are under particular scrutiny following the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, who pledged to improve ties with the Kremlin.

“A meeting is planned and being worked out,” Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told journalists in a briefing.

Prospects for better relations with Washington have suffered setbacks since Trump’s inauguration including the resignation on Monday of national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was seen in Moscow as a leading advocate of softer U.S. policy on Russia.

Zakharova did not say what Lavrov and Tillerson planned to address in their meeting, but earlier comments from the foreign ministry suggested Syria would be a topic of discussion.

Reporting by Alessandra Prentice; editing by Maria Kiselyova

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