The Latest on the Russian foreign minister’s annual news conference (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

Russia’s foreign minister has ridiculed allegations that U.S. President Donald Trump could have worked for Moscow’s interests.

Sergey Lavrov has told a news conference that U.S. media reports claiming that Trump might have been a Russian agent reflect a dramatic plunge in standards of journalism. Trump said this week he never worked for Russia.

Asked if Russia could release the minutes of Trump’s one-on-one negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Lavrov dismissed the idea, saying it defies the basic culture of diplomacy.

He said such requests reflect illegitimate meddling in the U.S. president’s constitutional right to conduct foreign policy.

Lavrov also scoffed at the charges leveled against Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, saying that he only talked to the Russian ambassador in a bid to protect U.S. interests.

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12:25 p.m.

Russia’s foreign minister says that the U.S. has ignored Moscow’s proposal to inspect a Russian missile that Washington says has violated a nuclear arms treaty.

Sergey Lavrov says that Russia offered during talks in Geneva earlier this week that U.S. experts see the missile. He said the U.S. negotiators stonewalled the offer, repeating Washington’s demand that Russia destroys the weapon it claimed violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Lavrov charged that the U.S. refusal to consider the Russian offer to have a close look at the missile reflects Washington’s intention to abandon the INF treaty,

U.S. Undersecretary of State Andrea Thompson said in Tuesday’s statement that “the meeting was disappointing as it is clear Russia continues to be in material breach of the treaty.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks about his department's 2018 accomplishments during his annual roundup news conference in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks about his department’s 2018 accomplishments during his annual roundup news conference in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

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