STATE DEPARTMENT - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet next week in Finland, as tensions simmer between the countries over the crisis in Venezuela.
Russian media quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who said Friday that a meeting has been set up on the sidelines of next week's ministerial session of the Arctic Council in Rovaniemi.
The State Department also confirmed the talks.
"Foreign Minister Lavrov will be there, the Secretary [Pompeo] will be there, they’ve got the Arctic Council ministerial and the related events to that, and they will have an opportunity, obviously, to meet and review whatever topics they choose to,” said a senior State Department official.
That official added Venezuela is likely to be discussed.
Wednesday, Pompeo told Lavrov in a phone call that “the intervention by Russia and Cuba is destabilizing for Venezuela and for the U.S.-Russia bilateral relationship.” Pompeo also urged Russia to stop support for Venezuela’s embattled Nicolas Maduro.
Washington has accused Russia of talking Maduro out of leaving Venezuela. Moscow has denied the allegation.