NICOSIA, Cyprus — The Latest on diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

Russian lawmakers have backed a deputy foreign minister as the new ambassador to the United States.

Russian news agencies reported Thursday that members of the lower house’s foreign affairs committee supported Anatoly Antonov, whose appointment hasn’t been officially announced yet.

The current Russian ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak, has been a focus of the investigations into ties between President Donald Trump’s associates and Russia during the campaign.

Antonov, a career diplomat who served as deputy defense minister in charge of international ties in 2011-2016 before returning to the Foreign Ministry, was quoted as saying that Moscow and Washington should normalize ties and engage in constructive cooperation.

He said the U.S. and Russia must pool efforts in the fight against terrorism and work together to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation.


5:30 p.m.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has mocked U.S. news reports suggesting President Donald Trump shared sensitive intelligence with him about terror threats involving laptops on airplanes.

Without directly confirming the details of their conversation, Lavrov told reporters in Cyprus on Thursday that he didn’t understand what the “secret” was since the U.S. introduced a ban on laptops on airlines from some Middle Eastern countries two months ago.

He joked that some U.S. media were acting like communist newspapers during the Soviet Union and not offering real news.

Lavrov says media have reported that Trump told him that “‘terrorists’ are capable of stuffing laptops, all kinds of electronic devices, with untraceable explosive materials,” information he says the administration revealed with the laptop ban.

Lavrov said: “So, if you’re talking about that, I see no secret here.”

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