Donald Trump declares US-Russia relations may be at 'all-time low'
- Author: Larry Hoffman Apr 13, 2017,
Apr 13, 2017, 20:33
Russian Federation vetoed a United Nations draft resolution demanding the Syrian government cooperate with an investigation into a suspected chemical attack that the West blames on President Bashar al-Assad's forces.
This is the eighth time that Russian Federation has used its veto power at the UN Security Council to block action directed at Damascus since the bloody civil war began in 2011.
Ms Haley told the 15-member Security Council that Russia, "Once again, has chosen to side with Assad, even as the rest of the world, including the Arab world, overwhelmingly comes together to condemn this murderous regime".
Earlier in an interview broadcast on Wednesday before the meeting with Tillerson, Putin said that mutual trust between Russian Federation and the USA, especially on the military level, had eroded in the first few months of Trump's presidency.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that relations between the two countries are at "a low point" as clear divides remain over Syria, Moscow's alleged meddling in US elections and a host of other major issues.
Tillerson avoided giving specific details of how Assad would leave power, saying, "We leave that to the process going forward".
As Russia did Wednesday, by vetoing a proposed UN Security Council investigation into the sarin attack - which Putin pretends was the victims' fault. Ten countries voted in favor of the text, while Bolivia joined Russian Federation in voting no.
"It is clear to us the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end", he told reporters in Italy. He added that Russian Federation hoped to clarify the possibility of dialogue with the U.S.
In a blatant response to the alleged chemical attack, the US launched dozens of Tomahawk to destro the Shayrat airfield in Syria.
The OPCW mission will determine whether chemical weapons were used, but is not mandated to assign blame.
After the vote at the UN, French President Francois Hollande said Russian Federation "bears a heavy responsibility" for continuing to protect Assad and blocking a united global response. He said Assad's government was responsible.
Trump said it was "certainly possible" that Putin knew about the attack, blamed on Assad, indicating Russian officials were present at the source airbase, which Trump later bombed.
Asked if the meeting at the Kremlin marked any positive change, Mr Peskov said: "Too early yet". No one has yet visited the site of the crime. He said Moscow has lots of questions about the "very ambiguous" and "contradictory" ideas emanating from Washington.
It denies it is responsible.
Despite initial hopes in Moscow of better ties with the United States under Trump, the two powers have descended into a furious war of words over the incident and a retaliatory United States missile strike against the forces of the Kremlin's ally Bashar al-Assad last week. It was unclear if Moscow planned to put the text to a vote.
France's U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said "with this attack, the Syrian regime has plumbed new depths of horror".