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Lavrov slams Congress’s ‘illegal’ crusade to prevent Trump from pursuing foreign policy

January 16, 14:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Lavrov noted that the US Constitution gives the president the right to determine and pursue foreign policy

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© AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has declined to comment on the talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump, stressing that efforts by the US Congress to prevent the White House occupant from pursuing his foreign policy were illegitimate.

"There is such a concept as the culture of diplomacy, the culture of negotiations, the culture of communication at the inter-state level. All that implies the observance of decency and those norms, which exist in each of the communicating states," Russia’s top diplomat told reporters at a news conference, commenting on US media hype that Trump allegedly ‘hid’ details of his negotiations with Putin.

Lavrov noted that the US Constitution gives the president the right to determine and pursue foreign policy. "We do know that this right has been coming under attack from the Congress. The issue is covered extensively. However, this does not make these attacks constitutional, and it does not make them less illegal either. I will not comment on the administration’s actions with regard to the powers the president and the administration have," he emphasized.

He pointed out that it is difficult for him "to comment on what is going on in the US concerning the accusations that President Trump is a Russian agent." "I believe that for the American press this decline in journalistic standards is such a lowly move. I cannot believe that journalists in the United States pursue these issues sincerely and professionally," Lavrov expounded.

The Washington Post earlier reported that Trump had concealed details of his first talks with Putin, which were held in the summer of 2017 on the sidelines of the G20 summit. According to the paper, the US president attempted to shield his conversations with Putin from public scrutiny "on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials."

For his part, Trump told Fox News on Saturday that he had never tried to hide any details about his meetings with the Russian leader.

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