U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow Wednesday, despite reports that the Kremlin leader had refused a face-to-face meeting with the top American diplomat, reveal various Russian state media outlets.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin is meeting US Secretary of State Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov at the Kremlin,” said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian president, on Wednesday, without elaborating on what they would discuss.
“We have not announced any such meetings and right now there is no meeting with Tillerson in the president’s diary,” Peskov told reporters on Monday, dismissing the potential for such a meeting. He added that “returning to pseudo-attempts to resolve the crisis by repeating mantras that Assad must step down cannot help sort things out,” suggesting a meeting between Tillerson and Putin would be unproductive given the current political climate.
The revelation comes on the heels of Russian President Putin declaring that U.S.-Russian relations have worsened under American President Donald Trump’s watch.