Don't force democracy on Venezuela, Russia tells US

Federica Mogherini right chaired a meeting with German French and British foreign ministers in Brussels

"There are things Russian Federation can do to convey that these types of activities are a thing of the past and I hope they take advantage of that".

LUCIAN KIM, BYLINE: Hi, Ari.

Lavrov said the Mueller report and "baseless" allegations of Putin-Trump collusion in the 2016 election had "frozen" the relationship.

KIM: Yes, he did.

"I hope that we can find places where we have overlapping interests and can truly begin to build out strong relationships", Pompeo said, citing the fight against terrorism and regional conflicts as potential areas for co-operation.

But the Europeans said they are fearful about the behaviour of both Iran and the Trump Administration.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told visiting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that a telephone conversation with President Donald Trump this month encouraged him to think relations between Russia and the United States might improve.

And as you mentioned before, I mean, the origin of this meeting today was that phone call that Trump and Putin had.

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Lavrov said both countries are overdue to dispel "suspicions and prejudices" and to "start building a new constructive framework" of how Russian Federation and the U.S see each other. The administration has been issuing some ominous warnings about Iran's behavior. And this is a very serious agreement that they have.

Pompeo, on his first visit to Russian Federation as the top USA diplomat, said the Trump administration is committed to improving ties and wants to work together where the two countries have what he called "overlapping interests".

They have also introduced a "blocking statute" protecting European companies from the effects of U.S. sanctions, but many worldwide corporations do more business in the United States than in Iran and have already severed ties there rather than risk running afoul of Washington.

In Sochi, Lavrov told Pompeo there may be hope for some agreement on Iran that would win backing by both Russian Federation and the U.S. The two offered few details, however, about the areas where they could improve relations. The U.S. backs opposition leader Juan Guaido.

As Putin continued by saying that Nord Stream 2 meets Europe's interests, Van der Bellen reaffirmed Austria's commitment to the EU-Russia project, and emphasised that OMV, a Vienna-based oil and gas company, had no intention to withdraw from the joint venture. National Security Advisor John Bolton, meanwhile, consciously pushes for escalation with regime change (if not Iran´s disintegration) as the ultimate goal. But, crucially, both sides have fervently downplayed the possibility of warfare. "Our elections are important and sacred and they must be kept free and fair and with no outside country interfering".

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Tuesday said his country is not seeking war with Iran, despite a spike in tensions that has seen the Pentagon dispatch nuclear-capable bombers to the region.

"We highlighted very useful cooperation that's happening on Afghanistan, including the trio format", Lavrov said alongside Pompeo on Tuesday.

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