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Putin meets Tillerson as tensions rise over Syria

16 April, 2017, 00:36 | Author: Lorena Waters
  • Haley I think Russia knew about attack

"We have seen very alarming actions recently with an unlawful attack against Syria", Lavrov said, referring to the USA cruise missile attack Trump ordered.

At an emergency United Nations meeting that took place last Wednesday, Russia's deputy U.N. Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov denounced the U.S.'s strike as a supportive gesture to Syrian terrorists.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, warned Moscow against protecting Assad, who relies on support from Russian Federation and Iran in his conflict with mostly Sunni Muslim rebels.

Trump had frequently called during the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign for warmer ties with Putin, despite criticism from lawmakers in his own Republican Party.

"We [had] a long conversation with the President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation", said Lavrov.

It seems Putin agrees.

According to Reuters, the Russian president said his country's relationship with the U.S. has "deteriorated" under Trump, "especially on the military level".

Any expectations of an easy rapport have crashed into reality amid the nasty back-and-forth over Syria and ongoing U.S. investigations into Russia's activity connected to the United States presidential election. "We'll hope that this doesn't become the substance of American policy", Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russia's state-owned RIA news agency.

It was the eighth veto by Russian Federation, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, on a Western-backed Syria resolution and reflected the deep division that has left the U.N.'s most powerful body struggling to tackle the use of banned chemical weapons and to help end the six-year Syrian conflict.

There are still no announced plans for Tillerson to meet with Putin, but the secretary of state remains open to it, according to the State Department. "No one showed us anything, no one said anything, although we repeatedly asked to produce the details on which these unfounded accusations lie".

"Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched", confirmed Trump. "We're going to see how that works out".

Staffan de Mistura told the U.N. Security Council Wednesday that he is ready to hold a new round of talks between the government and opposition in May but some things should be sorted out first.

Haley warned Moscow against protecting Assad, who relies on support from Russian Federation and Iran in his conflict with mostly Sunni Muslim rebels.

He said that as the end of the Obama administration approached, US officials suggested the two countries meet.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Wednesday insisted that the US should not carry out further attacks against Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria.

And Putin, who US intelligence agencies say tried to help Trump get elected, insisted that relations with the USA had only gone downhill since Trump took office in January.

Laying bare deep and risky divisions on Syria and other issues, President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that USA relations with Russian Federation "may be at an all-time low".

The civil war is separate from the US-led effort against the Islamic State group in the north of the country.

While the most immediate U.S.

Mr Putin's decision to host Mr Tillerson signalled Moscow's intent to maintain communication with the USA even as the countries bash each other publicly in louder and louder tones.

Lavrov said that Russian Federation considers, "it crucially important to prevent a repetition of such actions in the future".

"It is of paramount importance to avert risks and recurrences of such actions in the future", he added. "We want Russian Federation to use its influence over the Assad regime to stop the madness and the cruelty we see every day on the ground". Mr Putin said that either gas belonging to the rebels was released when it was hit by a Syrian strike on a rebel arms dump, or the rebels faked the incident to discredit Assad.

Moscow's hostility to Trump administration figures is a sharp change from previous year, when Mr Putin hailed Mr Trump as a strong figure and Russian state television was consistently full of effusive praise for him.

Putin also asserted that Syria has complied with an agreement to dispose of chemical weapons "so far as we know".



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