Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov might have expected some questions about alleged Russian interference in the US election but he didn't seem to be expecting this one. In fact, he didn't seem – or at least pretend – to have known that the night before his arrival, President Donald Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey.

After a short statement and photo opportunity with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Russian foreign minister turns to leave as a reporter shouts "does the Comey firing cast a shadow over your talks here?"

"Was he fired?" Lavrov says, "You're kidding? You're kidding?" while keeping a straight face and leaving with Tillerson.

The timing of Comey's firing has led many to suggest that the agency's investigation into the Trump team's ties with Russian officials was behind the dismissal – something the White House rejects.

Comey had asked for more funding and staff in his investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the US election just days before he was sacked, according to the New York Times and NBC News.

A statement from the White House said that Trump had informed Comey "that he has been terminated and removed from office."

"President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions," the statement continued.

"The FBI is one of our nation's most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement," Trump said, according to the statement.

The search for the next director would start immediately, he added.

Lavrov's visit comes after Tillerson's contentious visit to Moscow just a week after the US fired missiles at an airbase in Syria in response to a chemical attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

The US Secretary of State said that the two would be continuing "our dialogue and our exchange of views which began in Moscow with the dialogue he hosted on a very broad range of topics."

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FBI director James Comey testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee during an oversight hearing on the FBI on Capitol Hill May 3, 2017Eric Thayer/Getty Images