The United States shares counterterrorism, North Korean denuclearization and Afghan reconciliation interests with Russia, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after his visit to Russia.
Pompeo’s trip marked the first high-profile U.S. visit to Russia since allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and an investigation rankled bilateral relations.
Though the Kremlin played down expectations afterward, President Vladimir Putin expressed a mutual desire to improve the battered U.S.-Russian ties as he hosted Pompeo on Wednesday. Pompeo later said “there is an overlap” in shared interests between the countries.
“We could achieve a reduction in violence” in Afghanistan to reduce the threat of terrorism stemming from the region, he told Fox News radio on Thursday.
Regarding North Korea, an ally of Moscow, Pompeo said “the Russians have an interest too in ensuring that there aren’t loose nuclear materials floating around.”
Moscow and Washington could also cooperate on anti-terrorism efforts, he said. Late in 2017, Putin credited the CIA — headed by Pompeo at the time — for tipping off Russian security forces about an impending terror attack in St. Petersburg.
“I know for certain we kept America safe as a result of information that Russia provided us and I know we saved Russian lives with information that we had,” he said on Thursday.