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    United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at Vnukovo-2 Airport

    Tillerson Criticized for Not Meeting Russian Civil Groups in Moscow

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    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson undermined the United States's message of solidarity by not meeting with civil society groups in Russia during his recent trip, US Senator Jeanne Shaheen said in a statement on Thursday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Last week, Senators Shaheen and Marco Rubio sent a letter to Tillerson formally requesting that he meets with Russian civil society groups, citing that his predecessors have done so in recent Republican and Democratic administrations.

    "By excluding these groups from his schedule, Secretary Tillerson has undermined our longstanding message of solidarity with democratically-minded Russians," Shaheen said.

    On Tuesday and Wednesday, Tillerson visited Moscow for the first time after his appointment as US state secretary. Tillerson held a meeting with Lavrov and then a joint meeting with President Vladimir Putin, which lasted for about two hours. 

    Following the talks, the ministers said that other issues that were discussed were the current state of Russia-US relations, international political cooperation, cybersecurity, disarmament, and international terrorism.

    Both sides said that the talks were constructive, as they had managed to inform each other of their views on bilateral relations and major international problems. Lavrov, in particular, said that Moscow saw a readiness on behalf of the United States to support an international investigation of the April 4 events in Idlib.



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