Russian Federation slammed for vetoing yet another Syria resolution
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 14, 2017,
Apr 14, 2017, 12:11
The news comes a day after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a meeting in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin. "The world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship".
During the meeting, Lavrov doubled down on Russia's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, repeating denials that Assad's government was to blame for the gas attack last week and adding a new theory that the attack may have been faked by Assad's enemies.
Tillerson noted the low level of trust between the two countries.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley attended the United Nations (UN) Security Council meeting where Russian Federation used the veto.
For his part, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura called on the United States and Russian Federation to "find a way to work together" to stabilize the situation and support the political process in Syria.
The comments come as Russian Federation vetoed a motion in the United Nations to condemn a poison gas attack believed to be launched by Bashar al-Assad's forces that killed 87 people last week.
"The United States firmly believes that a political process can work, despite the odds", said Haley. But Lavrov gave no ground on the Russian claim that the sarin gas assault was either a provocation by Syrian rebels or was triggered when Syrian warplanes struck a rebel munitions depot holding sarin gas.
"Even if we have them, we wouldn't use them, and we have never used our chemical arsenal in our history". "We insist on a most thorough, independent investigation into that incident".
Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov told the council before the vote that during talks in Moscow Russia asked for an independent worldwide investigation to examine the April 4 attack on Khan Sheikhoun.
In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday that OPCW inspectors should visit both the Syrian airbase, which the US said served as a platform for the attack, and Khan Sheikhoun to get a full and objective picture. "We discussed no change in the status of sanctions that have been in place with Russian Federation as a result of certain actions taken in Ukraine", Tillerson said. The US says it has extensive evidence that Syria was to blame for the attack, while Russian Federation says Syrian forces accidentally struck a building where terrorists kept the internationally banned chemical.
Lavrov added: "Yesterday, we discussed in detail (with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson) the need to step up Russian-American efforts towards mobilizing the worldwide community to fight terrorism, and reminded him that US actions like the strikes against Syria on April 7 are at variance with this task".
For Trump, the crises have come quicker and the learning curve has been faster.
The U.S. cruise-missile attack on a Syrian air base last week escalated tensions in the Syrian conflict, Lavrov said. "The world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship", he said at a news conference, adding that Moscow and Washington had agreed to establish a working group to identify problems and improve bilateral relations. "The obstacles in the way of a reset now are more serious than you had at the outset of any other administration since the end of the Cold War".