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Lavrov sees nothing illegal in former Trump campaign staffer’s Russian contacts

November 01, 1:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"I don’t see anything illegitimate, illegal, unlawful here," Lavrov said

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

MOSCOW, October 31. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday he saw "nothing of note" in possible contacts between US President Donald Trump’s former campaign staffer George Papadopoulos with representatives of Russian academic centers.

According to documents issued by the US District Court for the District of Columbia, Papadopoulos, while serving as a foreign policy advisor for the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, maintained contacts with a certain professor from London and a female Russian citizen allegedly connected to the country’s leadership.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday that the BuzzFeed news portal has published information about alleged contacts between a Trump campaign staffer and "a contact person from the Russian Foreign Ministry." The Russian Embassy in the United States identified the "contact person" as Ivan Timofeyev, a member of the Russian International Affairs Council non-profit think tank.

"I see absolutely nothing here deserving any kind of attention, even on behalf of news agencies, who are trying to find something improper or in conflict with international norms here," Lavrov said. "I have not seen the indictments that had been put forward, but if Mr. Papadopoulos wanted to meet Mr. Timofeyev - I’m not personally acquainted to any of them - then, if the meeting in question was to focus on Russian-US relations, I don’t see anything illegitimate, illegal, unlawful here."

"I believe that any kind of state control should be exercised over organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations in the US, like the Russian International Affairs Council or similar organizations in Germany, France, Italy and anywhere else," Lavrov continued. "They comply with all laws, they invite interesting people, they meet requests to accommodate a foreign partner for a discussion on this or that subject.".

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