A series of Friday top-level exchanges between Russia and the United States has little chance of yielding significant progress on any key point of contention between the sides, including an entrenched dispute over Washington’s missile defense plans for Europe, U.S. government personnel told Reuters.
A lack of progress on the antimissile standoff fed into President Obama’s decision this week to back out of a planned September meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Moscow has demanded a legally enforceable guarantee that sophisticated U.S. interceptors slated for deployment in Europe would never be aimed at Russian strategic missiles. The Obama administration has spurned that request, saying it does not have the authority to make such a promise.
Still, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry will mount a new effort to clear up Moscow’s worries about the antimissile plans when they meet with their Russian counterparts on Friday, an U.S. government insider said.
The talks were under way as of Friday morning, the Associated Press reported. A morning exchange between Hagel and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was to be followed by a mid-day gathering of all four officials and an afternoon meeting between Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, AP reported separately on Friday.
One of Lavrov’s deputies said “the American ideas [on missile defense] and our concerns seem to exist in different dimensions, and we have so far been unable to find where they intersect,” Interfax reported on Wednesday.
“Without an agreement on antimissile defense which will dispel all our concerns, any further steps toward nuclear disarmament are impossible,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov added in remarks quoted on Wednesday by the Xinhua News Agency.
- 1 Bull’s Eye: Here’s the Obamas’ New Neighborhood
- 2 Democrats Prepare Major Campaign Finance Reform Push
- 3 How a Top Clinton Aide Helped Adam Silver Navigate the Sterling Saga
- 4 ‘I’m Right and Everybody Else Is Wrong. Clear About That?’
- 5 Indiana Law Tests Republicans’ 2016 Strategy for Social Issues
What We're Following See More »
Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”
"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.
"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."
"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.