US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is concerned about sending Andrea Thompson to Geneva for talks with Russia, reported Politico.
Thompson, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, is heading to Geneva along with the Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan for strategic security and arms control talks with Russian delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.
Thompson was set to lead the US delegation in Geneva talks, however was reportedly replaced with Sullivan as she failed to disclose her ties to Paul Erickson, boyfriend of a Russian citizen Maria Butina jailed in the US for failing to register as a foreign agent.
“She either didn’t understand what she was doing … or she did and she tried to conceal it.”
The failure to disclose her personal and financial ties to Erickson may cost Thompson her career, experts say. John Sipher, former CIA officials, said that “all senior officers have to report on their finances and any connections to overseas interests.” “Diplomatic Security should review her clearance,” he added.
“When Erickson and Butina were all over the news, she should have reported her connection. At the very least it now puts the administration in a bind where critics can question her competence, professionalism and judgment.”
The US-Russia talk are to be held on July 17-18 in Geneva, Switzerland and cover arms control, existing New START treaty between the US and Russia and possible extending of it, and a new trilateral treaty limiting nuclear weapons between Russia, the US and China. Earlier China said it had “no grounds” for participating in such talks and signing the new treaty.
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website