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U.S. Accuses Russia of Sowing 'Chaos' in Mediterranean

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian President Vladimir Putin pictured together at a meeting in Sochi, 2019. Kremlin.Ru

America's top diplomat Mike Pompeo on Tuesday accused Russia of continuing to "threaten Mediterranean stability" and sowing "chaos, conflict and division" in countries around the region.

In a statement on "Russian Influence in the Mediterranean," the outgoing Secretary of State responded to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, who he said "accused the United States of playing political games" in the region.

Lavrov "again gets the facts wrong and attempts to rewrite history," Pompeo said, denouncing Moscow's actions in Libya, Greece and Syria. 

In Libya, he said, the U.S. "supports the formation of an inclusive government that can secure the country and meet the economic and humanitarian needs of the Libyan people," and is working with the United Nations towards that goal. 

"Russia on the other hand undermines Mediterranean domestic politics, supports Syria's brutal dictator, and fuels Libya's conflict with its proxy. Who is playing games here?" he added on Twitter.

He elaborated in the statement, saying: "Russia continues to threaten Mediterranean stability using a variety of techniques to spread disinformation, undermine national sovereignty, and sow chaos, conflict, and division within countries throughout the region."

Outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump was never really able to keep his promise to improve relations with Russia, stumbling over accusations of Russian interference in his 2016 victory and the bipartisan hostility of American politicians against the Kremlin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin waited more than a month to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his victory against Trump in the November 3 U.S. presidential election. 

"For my part, I am ready for collaboration and contacts with you," Putin told Biden in a congratulatory telegram on Tuesday, according to a Kremlin statement.

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