Russia's Ryabkov Confirms Meeting with US Shannon With Focus on Bilateral Ties

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian Deputy Foreign Minister confirmed Friday his meeting with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon on May 8 in New York with the focus on Russia-US bilateral relations.

The US State Department announced the meeting earlier in the day.

"The meeting is a step in the implementation of the agreements reached between the Russian Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov and the US Secretary of State [Rex] Tillerson during the latter's visit to Russia…The topics that will be discussed during this contact do not cover Syria and other regional crises," Ryabkov told RIA Novosti.

"This first contact is focused on continuing the work on removing 'irritants' in bilateral relations. With the understanding that we are losing time, it was decided to hold the first contact with the goal of solving these problems at the Shannon level on their part, and I was instructed to represent Russia there," Ryabkov said.

"Issues related to access to Russian diplomatic property in the US as well as the functioning of respective diplomatic missions in both countries will be discussed during the meeting," he said.

"All issues related to the actions of US law enforcement agencies against Russian citizens on certain charges, but circumventing the existing bilateral mechanisms for mutual legal assistance, these issues will be raised," Ryabkov also said.

Ryabkov earlier announced that the Russian-American working group on normalization of relations could start work in the next two or three months.