Trump says US-Russian relations may be 'at an all time low'
- Author: Zachary Reyes Apr 13, 2017,
Apr 13, 2017, 18:05
While relations "may be at an all-time low", he said, he remained optimistic that the USA and its allies "could get along with Russian Federation".
China has vetoed six resolutions on Syria since the conflict began in 2011.
"There is a low level of trust between our two countries", Mr Tillerson told reporters in Moscow.
A senior United States official claimed that military and intelligence operatives had intercepted communications between the Syrian military and chemical experts discussing preparations for last week's chemical-weapons attack in Syria, according to a CNN report Wednesday.
Trump had frequently called during the 2016 United States presidential election campaign for warmer ties with Putin, despite criticism from lawmakers in his own Republican Party.
Adding further fuel to rising tensions: the White House's move to circulate declassified us intelligence accusing Moscow of aiding Assad's government in covering up the chemical attack.
Tillerson, making the first visit by a Trump Cabinet official, went to the Kremlin in the early evening to meet with the Russian leader, the U.S. Embassy and the Kremlin said.
Russian Federation and Iran, Syria's main allies dismissed allegations that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime carried out the deadly chemical strike that killed more than 80 civilians.
He added it was "highly likely" the Assad regime was behind the chemical attack, which prompted the USA to attack a regime airbase in retaliation.
"We had a lengthy exchange of views regarding the situation in Syria and shared perspectives on possible ways forward", Tillerson said.
Tillerson reiterated that Assad was behind the attack.
Tillerson's official itinerary in Moscow started with the meeting with Lavrov, in an ornate hall in a foreign ministry-owned residence.
One of Lavrov's deputies was even more undiplomatic.
The Kremlin published the full transcript of the the interview with Mir, during which Putin addressed his remarks from Tuesday on the Kremlin's belief that there may be false flag chemical attacks in Syria to provoke further USA military action. "There is a low level of trust between our two countries".
"The world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship", he said at a press conference afterwards.
On Wednesday, standing with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump echoed that sentiment.
During his presidential election campaign, Trump said he would like the U.S. to have better relations with Russian Federation.
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council: "We want to work with Russian Federation to advance a political process in Syria".
He said Russian Federation was "collaborating with Assad who is the biggest terrorist of all". This has built for a long period of time. "That's a butcher", Trump said.
"Are we insisting on it? No".
KELEMEN: Well, I'd say the U.N. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, who was in Washington yesterday and up at the U.N. Security Council today, certainly hopes so.
The Wall Street Journal cited Trump as saying that Assad's use of chemical weapons again would elicit another military response, but he also said he would not intervene in depth in the conflict.
The intercepts were part of an immediate review of all intelligence in the hours after the attack to confirm responsibility for the use of chemical weapons in an attack in northwestern Syria, which killed at least 70 people. However, according the Russian Defense Ministry, on April 4, the Syrian air force delivered an airstrike on the eastern outskirts of Khan Sheikhoun to destroy militant facilities used to produce chemical bombs.
It was the eighth time Russian Federation has protected its ally at the council.
He said the USA attack on the Syrian air base "was carried out in violation of global norms".