Donald Trump will meet Vladimir Putin's senior diplomat at the White House on Wednesday in a signal that US relations with Russia have improved.
The US president recently described them as being at an "all-time low" but his talks with Sergey Lavrov mark the highest level, face-to-face contact with Russia of the American leader's term in office.
Mr Trump's talks with Moscow's foreign minister will take place after the Russian's meeting earlier in the day with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
A Russian plan to stabilise Syria after more than six years of civil war is the most urgent foreign policy topic on the agenda.
But the meeting will be impossible to separate from the Trump administration's unfolding political drama in Washington.
FBI and congressional investigations are looking into possible collusion between Trump campaign associates and the Kremlin related to last year's presidential election.
US intelligence agencies accuse Moscow of meddling to help Mr Trump's chances of victory.
The stigma of the Russia investigations has been impossible for Mr Trump to shake.
The president on Tuesday abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey, dramatically ousting the nation's most senior law enforcement official in the middle of the bureau's investigation into Mr Trump's ties with Russia.
Less than a month into Mr Trump's presidency, he sacked his national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
The president said Mr Flynn misled senior administration officials about his pre-inauguration talks with Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador in Washington.
In a Senate hearing on Monday, former acting attorney general Sally Yates said she warned the White House in January that Mr Flynn "essentially could be blackmailed" by the Russians because he apparently had lied to his bosses about his contacts with Mr Kislyak.
Mr Trump has said he has no ties to Russia and is not aware of any involvement by his aides in any Russian election interference.
He calls the various investigations a "hoax" driven by Democrats still bitter that their candidate, Hillary Clinton, was defeated last year.
But in the meantime, his hopes for a possible rapprochement with Moscow, so regularly repeated during the campaign, have been derailed.
Relations soured further in April after the US blamed Syria's president Bashar Assad, a key Russian ally, for a deadly chemical weapons attack on civilians and Mr Trump fired some 60 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base in response.
Donald Trump's first 100 days: in cartoons
Donald Trump's first 100 days: in cartoons
Donald Trump's first 100 days in office were marred by a string of scandals, many of which caught the eye of the Independent's cartoonists
Trump's first 100 days have seen him aggressively ramp up tensions with his nuclear rivals in North Korea
Mr Trump has warned of a "major, major conflict" with the pariah nation lead by Kim Jong Un
Mr Trump dropped the "mother of all bombs" on alleged ISIS-linked militants in Afghanistan, amid an escalation of US military intervention around the globe
Mr Trump has been accused of falling short of the standards set by his predecessors in the Oval Office, including Franklin D Roosevelt
The tycoon's ascension to the White House came at a time when the balance of power is shifting away from Western nations like those in the G7 group
Western politicians, including the British Conservative party, have been accused of falling in line behind Mr Trump's proposals
Brexit is seen to have weakened Britain, reducing still further any political will to resist American leadership
Mr Trump's leadership has been marked by sudden and unexpected shifts in global policy
Trump's controversial missile strike on Syria, which killed several citizens, was seen by some analysts as an attempt to distract from his policy elsewhere
The President has also spent a large majority of his weekends golfing, rather than attending to matters of state
Though free of gaffes, a visit from Chinese president Xi Jinping spotlighted trade tensions between the two states
One major and unexpected setback came when Mr Trump's Healthcare Bill was struck down by members of his own party
Mr Trump has been a figure of fun in the media, with his approval at record lows
A string of revelations about Mr Trump's financial indiscretions did not mar his surge to the White House
Outgoing President Barack Obama was accused of wiretapping Trump Tower by his successor in America's highest office
The alleged involvement of Russian intelligence operatives in securing Mr Trump the presidency prompted harsh criticism
The explosive resignation of Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who lied about his links to the Russian ambassador, was just one scandal to hit the President
Many scandals, such as the accusation Barack Obama was implicated in phone-hacking, first broke on Mr Trump's Twitter feed
Donald Trump's election provoked mass protests in the UK, with millions signing a petition to ban him from the country
Donald Trump cited a non-existent terror attack in Sweden during a campaign rally
Donald Trump stands accused of stoking regional tensions in Eastern Asia
North Korea has launched a number of failed nuclear tests since Mr Trump took power
Theresa May formally rejected the petition calling for Mr Trump to be banned from the UK
When Mr Trump's initial so-called Muslim ban was struck down by a federal justice, the President mocked the 69-year-old as a "ridiculous", "so-called judge"
A week after his inauguration, Theresa May met with Mr Trump at the White House
Donald Trump's first days in office were marked by a hasty attempt to follow through on many of his campaign promises, including the so-called Muslim ban
Donald Trump's decision to ban citizens of many majority-Muslim countries from the US sparked mass protests
Revelations about Donald Trump's sexual improprieties were not enough to keep him from being elected President
British PM Theresa May was criticised by many in the press for cosying up to the new President
One of Mr Trump's top aides, Kelly Anne Conway, was mocked for describing mistruths as "alternative facts"
British PM Theresa May was quick to demonstrate that her political aims did not hugely differ from Mr Trump's
Donald Trump's inauguration, on 20 January 2017, sparked protests both at home and abroad
After Mr Tillerson visited Mr Putin and Mr Lavrov in Moscow on April 12, Mr Trump said: "Right now we're not getting along with Russia at all."
Mr Lavrov will be coming to the American capital with a Russian plan to end the violence in Syria, after hashing out an agreement with Iran and Turkey last week.
The Russian diplomat has not visited Washington at all since 2013, a year before Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and two years before it intervened militarily in Syria to help Assad remain in power.