Pompeo reaffirms USA refusal to accept Russian Federation annexing Crimea

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

In an unsuccessful bid to blunt some of the hostile questioning, particularly on Russia, Pompeo before the hearing issued a statement titled the "Crimea Declaration" in which he said the US will continue to insist that Ukraine's territorial integrity be restored.

US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin at a joint press conference after their meeting in Helsinki on 16 July.

It's also the prerogative of the American people to want to know more about the exchange with the man who USA intelligence officials say oversaw Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. "I think that he's panicking".

"Is there some strategy behind creating doubt in USA senators' minds, on both sides of the aisle, doubt in the American people as to what his motivations are?" added Mr Corker, a frequent critic of Mr Trump.

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The top Republicans in Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., both said this week that Putin would not be welcome for meetings on Capitol Hill, which customarily occur when a foreign head of state visits Washington.

Corker's frustrations followed a week of walk-backs, reversals, and clarifications from a Trump administration trying to account for the president's freewheeling comments about Russian Federation and the 2016 election.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is probing Moscow's actions and investigating whether members of the Trump team colluded with Russian officials.There is no indication when Mueller's probe will be completed.

"And then Trump came and decided differently", she said.

Just before his testimony, Pompeo issued a statement restating US policy rejecting Russia's annexation of Crimea.

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Trump reportedly told fellow leaders at the G7 summit last month that Crimea was Russian because people there speak Russian, and said "we're going to have to see" when asked by reporters at the end of the month whether the administration would maintain its opposition to Russia's Crimea annexation.

There was no immediate Kremlin reaction to the postponement, which was announced just a day after the Kremlin said Putin and Trump had agreed in Helsinki to continue their "useful contacts".

"I want to assure this committee that the United States does not and will not recognize the Kremlin's purported annexation of Crimea".

He called for Russian Federation to respect principles and "end its occupation of Crimea".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused Russian Federation of "occupying" the Crimean Peninsula, saying Washington "rejects" the move by Moscow.

Russia's Foreign Ministry quickly dismissed Mr Pompeo's comments.

But Pompeo refused to say whether North Korea had provided an inventory of their nuclear arsenal, considered a first step toward denuclearization, or taken any other significant steps toward that goal.

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Following the summit in Helsinki, Finland last week, Trump asked Bolton to invite Putin to Washington "in the fall" of 2018.

POMPEO: I've had a number of conversations with President Trump about what transpired in the meeting.

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