Donald Trump says would be 'wonderful' if US, Russia could get along

"We need to find out the facts, conduct a comprehensive investigation", Russia's Safronkov told the council. "Right now, we're not getting along with Russian Federation at all".

During their joint press conference only scant hours before the vote, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed their nations' differing opinions on the matter.

Trump, who had long opposed military intervention in Syria, ordered the military attack on a Syrian airbase in Homs province on Friday. We have stated our position on many occasions.

But Tillerson and Lavrov did at least talk, and the secretary of state also got an unscheduled meeting with President Vladimir Putin in an apparent sign that though their clashes are real, both sides understand the relationship is too crucial to risk further escalation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meanwhile said trust had eroded between the two countries since Donald Trump became president, after the new United States leader fired missiles at Syria to punish Moscow's ally for its suspected use of poison gas. "The world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship".

Russia, a top Assad backer, says that the Syrian leader is being unfairly accused of executing the attack.

"So I think this is a characterization Assad brought on himself", he said.

The interview was broadcast as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held his first meeting with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Giving Tillerson a chilly reception, Lavrov said Russian Federation was trying to understand the "real intentions" of the Trump administration.

The two did outline some areas of agreement Wednesday.

"We frankly discussed the state of US-Russian relations".

They also played into Russian anger at USA power projection overseas, particularly military action against sovereign states.

But there are plenty of signs that Congress is no more likely to take up a war vote with Trump than it was under President Barack Obama, who went to Congress in 2015 with an ISIS war authorization that went nowhere.

"Russia's veto exposes the hollowness of Putin's call yesterday for United Nations investigations", he said in a statement. Russian Federation says rebels were responsible for whatever chemical agent was used, which the Trump administration calls a disinformation campaign.

In some ways, the current situation is not analogous to the standoff that developed between the nuclear rivals in the 1950s and 1960s.

Speaking after several hours of talks with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he said Russian Federation has no intention to "shield anyone".

But that does not mean the tensions aren't unsafe and couldn't escalate.

He recently completed a fifth round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, the first time the two sides have spoken directly instead of through him.

Tillerson said the two countries had agreed to set up a "working group" to coordinate on "smaller issues". "He needs to tell us what his strategy is in Syria, what he thinks he's going to do in the future - and whatever he decides to do, the President has to come to Congress for authorization".

Mr Lavrov said on Wednesday Russia had lots of questions about the "very ambiguous" and "contradictory" ideas coming from the US.

"It will not spiral out of control. How do you know that?" he asked. He said he knows the two powers have "serious differences", but they also have "common interests and responsibilities".

  • Carolyn Briggs