Kremlin says feels 'cautious optimism' after Trump meeting with Lavrov

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During President Trump's Wednesday meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, a photographer from a Russian state-owned news agency was let into the Oval Office. But Lavrov's delegation got Tass, a Russian news agency, in to take photos. "Neither of us brought up this bacchanalia", Lavrov said.

Michael Flynn's failure to disclose meetings with Kislyak eventually led to his departure as national security advisor and made the Russian diplomat a virtual household name.

Trump "should be meeting with the foreign minister", said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, lambasting critics.

There's also reports that suggest Trump officials were under the impression that there would be no photographs released to the public by either government.

While a senior administration official has defended the decision to allow the photographer in, claiming that he "had to go through the same screening as a member of the USA press going through the main gate to the [White House] briefing room", intelligence experts say that sophisticated surveillance equipment could have passed through such a screening undetected.

The talks came a day after Mr Trump fired the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey, who was overseeing an investigation into Russia's alleged interference in last year's presidential election.

Trump's meeting with Lavrov came a day after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, reportedly in part because he was unhappy with Comey's expanding investigation into alleged ties between Russian Federation and Trump's campaign past year to win the presidency.

United States intelligence agencies accuse Moscow of meddling to help Mr Trump's chances of victory.

Russian Federation brokered a deal for de-escalation zones with backing from Iran and Syrian opposition supporter Turkey during ceasefire talks in the Kazakh capital Astana last week. The US objects to Russian backing for Assad, and has supported some rebel fighting to oust him. Lavrov said the meeting mainly focused on ideas of de-escalation zones in Syria.

"What we want to do is we want to see the killing, the disgusting killing in Syria, stop as soon as possible and everybody's working toward that end", Trump said.

In his earlier meeting with Lavrov, Tillerson emphasized the US wouldn't lift sanctions on Russian Federation related to Ukraine until Moscow reverses the actions that triggered the punishment - namely, its Crimea annexation.

Russian Federation wants the elimination of those and election-related sanctions imposed by Obama.

The Kremlin expects that Russian and US Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump will meet in July at the summit of the G20 in Hamburg. Both are scheduled to travel to Germany for a Group of 20 leaders' meeting.

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