The Kremlin said on Wednesday it needed to understand if there was political will in Washington to cooperate with Russia as it prepared for a meeting between U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton and his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday that Washington was not seeking to oust Iran's leadership and that renewed sanctions were having a stronger impact on Tehran than anticipated.
He continued to focus on Iran as he discussed the situation in Syria, saying the US does not want to see Iran achieve what he said was an obvious Iranian plan to "create an arc of control" stretching across Iraq and Syria and linking with its ally Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Bolton revealed that Russia's president Vladimir Putin had told president Trump he would be content if Iranian regular and irregular forces would be withdrawn from Syria but that he was not able "to do it himself". "We talked about a variety of ways it might be accomplished through a series of steps".
While describing the meeting with his USA counterpart as "constructive", Patrushev said that he had invited US officials to Moscow or any other Russian city for a new round of talks, but no agreement had been reached on the timing for further talks.
Patrushev told reporters, without being specific, that no accusations were brought against Moscow during the talks but that the two sides discussed Syria, Ukraine, cybersecurity, and nuclear issues.
"That was a suggestion that we rejected before, and we rejected it again today", Bolton said.
Top American officials have traditionally participated in the annual ceremonies as a show of US support for Ukraine, which this year celebrates its 27th year of independence from the Soviet Union.
"Otherwise, these sanctions will only increase", - said Walker. "But just so that there's no confusion here, if they Syrian regime uses chemical weapons, we will respond very strongly", Bolton said.
Sanctions that the USA reimposed on Iran have been more effective than expected, though regime change there is not part of Washington's policy, President Donald Trump's national security adviser said on Wednesday.
He said the U.S. should use "leverage" over Russian Federation, one of President Assad's two key backers, to force it to get rid of Iranian troops and influence over the regime.
Bolton said on Thursday that Putin shared the United States goal of getting Iranian forces out of Syria. He said the US was "very, very early in the process" of considering the future of the new START or the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russian Federation.
Bolton was asked whether Trump's hard week in Washington, including the felony convictions of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer, made him "concerned that your own president is a security risk".
'We are going to de-fund the Human Rights Council, ' Bolton said, while warning that other United Nations agencies could also be up for cuts in USA funding.
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