August 23, 2018 / 6:17 PM / in 4 months

Russia says 'destructive' U.S. approach is blocking cooperation

FILE PHOTO: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with his counterpart from Mozambique Jose Pacheco in Moscow, Russia May 28, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo in a phone call on Thursday that Washington’s “destructive” approach to ties with Moscow was impeding bilateral cooperation, Russia’s foreign ministry said.

Lavrov told the U.S. secretary of state the United States should immediately stop “persecuting” detained Russian citizen Maria Butina, who is being held in the United States on suspicion of acting as a Russian agent.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Roche

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