MANILA, Philippines – The top American and Russian diplomats are meeting for the first time since President Donald Trump reluctantly signed into law a package of new sanctions targeting Moscow.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (sir-GAY' lahv-RAWF') are sitting down in Manila, Philippines, on the sidelines of a regional gathering. The two diplomats smiled and exchanged pleasantries but made no substantive remarks as journalists were allowed in briefly for the start of their meeting.
Tillerson and Lavrov ignored a shouted question about how the new sanctions might affect their discussions.
Trump and Tillerson opposed the sanctions package that Congress passed to make it harder for Trump to ever ease penalties on Russia. Trump ultimately signed the bill last week, but called it "seriously flawed."