SOCHI, May 14. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo have discussed Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, and Venezuela, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said on Tuesday.
"They mostly focused on international issues, of course, in particular, as I wrote down, issues of strategic stability, issues of disarmament and non-proliferation [of weapons of mass destruction] and pressing regional issues," Ushakov said. "Among them are the situation around Syria, around North Korea, Afghanistan, Libya, Iran, Venezuela," he added.
Ushakov noted that Putin and Pompeo also touched upon some issues on the bilateral agenda. Main focus, however, was on international issues, he said.
Syria's constitutional committee
Putin and Pompeo have also discussed the importance of launching Syria's constitutional committee, the Russian presidential aide said.
The situation in Syria was among the topics discussed at the talks between Putin and Pompeo, Ushakov said.
"In the Syrian context, we discussed the importance of jointly fighting against internaitonal terrorism and noted that it is very important to finally launch the Syrian constitutional committee," he added.
Ushakov noted that "the discussion was business-like and constructive, and it revealed many aspects on which we have similar positions."
Russia once again emphasized that "the only basis for overcoming the conflict is in a peaceful negotiations process under the auspices of the UN with participation of all constructive forces," the Russian presidential aide said.
"At the same time, the president stressed that it is important to respect Syria's sovereignty and strive for presrving its territorial integrity," Ushakov added.
Situation in Venezuela
Russia considers as inadmissible any steps that may provoke a civil war in Venezuela, Ushakov continued.
The sides had "a rather frank discussion" on Venezuela at the talks, Ushakov said. "We noted once again that only Venezuelan people have the right to determine the country's future and said that any steps that may provoke a civil war in the country are inadmissible. We stressed that different parties in the conflict should start a dialogue and noted that any attempts to oust the current president with the help of outside pressure are, first of all, counterproductive, and secondly, they may have disastrous consequences for the situation in the region," he added.
Ushakov also noted that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's future was not discussed at the meeting.
Dialgoue on North Korea
Russia confirmed readiness to cooperate with all countries on the Korean issue, and international security guarantees should be provided to North Korea for successful settlement, Ushakov said.
"We drew the US secretary of state's attention to the fact that Russia is open to cooperation with all interested parties with the aim of creating a stable security mechanism in Northeast Asia. We stressed that it is very important in this context to provide international security guarantees to North Korea in response to its steps on denuclearization," he noted.
Moscow thinks that Pyongyang will not give in to "any type of pressure," he added noting that North Korea wants "a respectful approach" and international security guarantess. "As far as we understood from the conversation, Americans are generally ready to continue working [with Pyongyang] despite the stalemate at the last meeting between [US President Donald] Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un," Ushakov concluded.
He also said that contacts between Russian and US representatives for North Korea were positively assessed at the Putin-Pompeo talks.
Settlement in Afghanistan
Russia and the United States should cooperate more actively on settlement in Afghanistan, Ushakov continued.
"On the issue of Afghanistan, the [Russian] president and the [US] secretary of state also noted rather good cooperation between specialists of our countries. Moreover, our president noted that settlement in Afghanistan is a rather complicated issue as the process itself is difficult. At the same time, the positions of the Taliban [movement banned in Russia] are getting stronger. So we need to step up cooperation and try to achieve the balance of power in this country," Ushakov said.
On April 25, representatives of Russia, China and the United States held a trilateral meeting in Moscow on the situation in Afghanistan. After the talks, the sides called on the Taliban to join talks with the Afghan authorities as soon as possible.
Iranian nuclear deal
The Iranian nuclear deal was briefly discussed at the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said.
"The Iranian nuclear deal was briefly discussed. We laid out our approach as it is critical of the recent actions of the US administration. The [Russian] president and the [US] state secretary have spent some time discussing possible developments around Iran. I would say that it was an interesting discussion," he noted.
On May 8, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani announced temporarily suspending Tehran's participation in part of the Join Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The US earlier withdrew from the deal reached in 2015.