National Security Adviser John Bolton said the Kremlin and the White House would jointly announce the date and location of a Trump-Putin summit Thursday, but disclosed the event would be held in neither Russian Federation nor the United States.
Pompeo's comments Wednesday to the Senate Appropriations Committee came as Trump's national security adviser John Bolton met in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin to prepare for a summit between the two leaders next month in Europe.
Cari Lutkins, left, and national security advisor John Bolton listen as President Trump speaks during a meeting with Chancellor Merkel of Germany in the Oval Office at the White House on Friday, April 27, 2018.
The United States initially sanctioned Russia over its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea and its backing for a pro-Russian uprising in eastern Ukraine.
President Trump's adviser is also set to meet with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and members of Russia's security council.
"Your visit to Moscow gives us hope that we can at least take the first step to reviving full-blown ties between our states", Putin told Bolton at the Kremlin after the two smiled and shook hands for the cameras.
Bolton said the USA position is that sanctions on Russia should remain in place, and that it will not recognize the Russian annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
Russian presidential foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov said after the talks that Moscow and Washington had reached agreement on the time and venue of a summit between President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump.
He added that when Moscow and Washington had differences in the past, Russian and US leaders met and that was "good for both countries, good for stability in the world".
They are at odds over Syria, Ukraine, allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and accusations Moscow was behind the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain in March.
Bolton arrived in Russia to prepare the summit between the U.S. and Russian presidents. "There are a lot of issues to talk about that have accumulated, and I think this was one of the reasons why President Trump believed so strongly that it was time to have this kind of meeting". I think we'll be talking about Ukraine. You never know about meetings what happens, right? We had great meetings with President Xi. Every place I've been, we have had great meetings. Pompeo said Washington was "trying to find places where we had overlapping interests, but protecting American interest where we do not".
But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told USA lawmakers on Wednesday that Washington regards Russia's annexation of Crimea, intervention in Ukraine and partial occupation of Georgia as entirely illegal. During last G7 summit in Canada, Trump advocated return of Moscow to G-7, which was opposed by German chancellor Angela Mérkel, who pointed out that return is only possible if reasons why Russian Federation ceased to belong to that club are corrected.
"I think the fact of the summit itself is a deliverable", Bolton said after talks with Putin and other Russian officials.
He added there were areas for cooperation despite the major points of disagreement.
Pompeo added that current relations with Russian Federation are about as bad as they have been in his lifetime and repeated assertions that the Trump administration has been tougher on Russian Federation than many previous ones. Russian Federation was kicked out of what was then the G8 in 2014, in retaliation for the country's invasion of Crimea.