Russian Federation relations at 'all-time low' after Syria attacks

Safronkov said Russia's Foreign Minister asked U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during talks earlier Wednesday in Moscow to jointly request the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons "to immediately put together an independent global mission" to visit Khan Sheikhoun and the air base that the U.S. attacked in retaliation.

MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin's meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hasn't produced any positive shift yet in Russia-U.S. relations, the Kremlin said Thursday.

Moscow and Washington are trying to figure each other out during the first visit by a senior member of Donald Trump's administration to Russian Federation.

The U.S. fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at Syria's al-Shayrat air base last week in response to a chemical weapons attack in Syria days earlier.

Beyond Syria, Russia's alleged meddling in the USA presidential election also hovered over what was the first face-to-face encounter between Putin and any Trump administration Cabinet member.

However, the BBC's Steve Rosenberg in Moscow says President Assad is Russia's key military ally in the Middle East and Tillerson may need to rethink his belief that he can weaken Moscow's support for him.

After a campaign marked by friendly comments about Russia, President Donald Trump sounded a different note on Wednesday about the current state of U.S. -Russia affairs.

Tillerson again said the USA has "conclusive" evidence Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime planned and carried out a chemical attack on its civilians last week.

The Russian diplomat claimed some progress was made on the crisis in the war-ravaged country and a working group would be set up to examine the poor state of US-Russia relations.

Russian Federation - refusing to concede that Assad - was behind the attacks.

"Clearly our view is that reign of Assad family is coming to an end".

Iran, Russia and Syria deny that the authorities in Damascus were behind the attack, in which more than 80 people were killed and hundreds injured.

Speaking on Mir television, Putin rejected allegations that Syria was behind the chemical attack, saying Syria had given up its chemical stockpile.

Lavrov said the ministers also discussed possible joint steps to prevent escalation of the tension in Syria.

In a blatant response to the alleged chemical attack, the USA launched dozens of Tomahawk to destro the Shayrat airfield in Syria, believed by Washington be the base for warplanes that carried out the chemical attack on a rebel-held town on Tuesday.

Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari said Syria had sent dozens of letters to the Security Council, some detailing "the smuggling of sarin from Libya through Turkey on a civilian air plane by using a Syrian citizen". "So I felt we had to do something about it". "And Russia said no to a resolution that would have helped promote peace in Syria".

  • Leroy Wright