Top US and Russian diplomats meet, make no visible progress

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MOSCOW (AP) — Senior diplomats from the United States and Russia have met in Helsinki to search for ways to narrow differences between Moscow and Washington but haven’t reported any immediate progress.

The U.S. State Department said that Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale, who met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, “stressed that while the United States seeks to narrow differences and foster cooperation with Russia on a number of global challenges, Russia’s negative actions continue to be a barrier for progress in our bilateral relationship.”

Ryabkov said he and Hale discussed Venezuela among other issues during Wednesday’s meeting, but failed to reach common ground. He said Russia doesn’t have any troops in Venezuela, but periodically has to send experts there and sees no need to discuss it with Washington.

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