Pompeo Had Undisclosed Meeting With Russian Diplomat At Munich Conference

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leave after a joint press conference following their talks in Sochi on May 14, 2019. (Photo credit: PAVEL GOLOVKIN/AFP via Getty Images)
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February 15, 2020 11:26 a.m.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a security conference in Munich on Friday that the State Department did not publicly disclose before nor after the fact.

Politico reported that the two diplomats met in Lavrov’s meeting room at the hotel in which the conference took place.

Maria Zakharova, Lavrov’s spokesperson, posted about the meeting on Facebook and included a photo of Pompeo in the hotel hallway with Lavrov and others.

Zakharova wrote in the post that Pompeo had wished the people in the hallway “good luck,” according to Politico’s translation.

“There are few to whom Americans now wish something good,” she reportedly wrote.

The State Department did not list the meeting in its official schedule of Pompeo’s travels from February 13-22 and did not provide a readout for it.

A department spokesperson described the meeting as a mere “pull-aside” in an emailed statement to TPM on Sunday.

“We can confirm that Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Lavrov met briefly on the margins of the Munich Security Conference on February 14,” the spokesperson said. “Consistent with State Department practice regarding pull-asides, there will be no readout.”

This story has been updated to include a comment from the State Department.

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