Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro had kept the world gathered along the East River guessing.
"I think that if President Trump and I speak, we would understand each other". Last year, the White House responded to a similar request by saying such a meeting would take place if the country returned to democracy.
Despite his appearance, presidents of five Latin American governments and Canada met to "sign a complaint with the International Penal Court asking that Maduro is investigated for crimes against humanity", TIME reported. The six-country referral could broaden the scope of the ongoing preliminary probe to the more serious charges leveled at Venezuela on Wednesday and extend the time frame back to 2014.
Lavrov told Maduro, "We are ready to offer all-around assistance for all of your plans", according to reports by Russian news agencies.
Trump added to the pressure Wednesday from the United Nations meetings in NY, where he appeared to allude to a US military intervention of the sort he had previously reportedly broached with advisors.
Accusing the United States of treating the world as its own property, he complained of "economic persecution" from US sanctions, which prevent using USA dollars for global trade like oil sales.
The Venezuelan leader has been seeking a meeting with his U.S. counterpart for nearly two years, but it is unlikely the two shall cross paths despite recent statements on both parts expressing a willingness to talk.
First lady Cilia Flores, a lawyer and former attorney general who also ran Venezuela's legislature, frequently appears at public events with Maduro and is seen an important behind-the-scenes power broker. Just last week he had said he would likely skip the meeting (as he did last year) due to security concerns.
"We exhort the Venezuelan government to take urgent actions to provide the needed identification and travel documents to its citizens such as ID cards, passports and birth certificates", it said. "Well, I'm willing to talk, with open schedule, about anything the United States wants to talk about, with humility, sincerity".
"I don't like to talk about military".
"What I want to say is that Venezuela is now stronger than ever", he said. "The strong ones and the less than strong ones - and you know what I mean by strong".
Delcy Rodriguez, the executive vice president of Venezuela and Jorge Rodriguez, the minister of popular power for communication and information, and Vladimir Padrino, the defense minister also were also sanctioned by the US government.
The sanctions are part of a broader strategy to bring about political change in Venezuela.
But his country is collapsing around him. The situation has triggered a mass migration of Venezuelan nations to neighboring countries. As recently as last week he said he feared for his life should he go.
In addition, the United States also put sanctions on a network which it accused of supporting a key front man for President of Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly (ANC) Diosdado Cabello, seizing a 20-million-U.S. dollar private jet that belonged to the front man. "Perhaps since [Hugo] Chávez named him his successor, no one had helped Maduro as much as Trump and this nonsense he said today", Human Rights Watch Americas Director José Miguel Vivanco told The Guardian.
Trump added that Maduro "needs to act a lot more humanely".
"Venezuela expresses its strongest rejection of the warmongering and interventionist statements issued by the president of the United States ... aimed at promoting a military uprising in the country", the foreign ministry in Caracas said in a statement.