Tillerson: Relations Between US And Russia Are 'At A Low Point'

Tillerson claimed that the Idlib strike was planned, directed and executed by Syrian government forces.

The U.S. says the United Nations doesn't need action from the U.S.to investigate because there are already mechanisms in place to investigate chemical weapons use in Syria.

Lavrov disputed the validity of Washington's allegations against Assad.

Washington says it acted to punish the Syrian government for what it said was a devastating nerve gas attack Damascus launched against its own people that killed scores.

Russian Federation believes there is no need for a UN Security Council resolution on the attack until the UN chemical weapons watchdog has completed an investigation.

Moscow and Washington had also agreed to continue cooperating to try to find a political solution for Syria, he said. Lavrov noted that the Obama administration refused to target the Al-Nusra Front, otherwise known as the Syrian sect of Al Qaeda.

Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vladimir Safronkov attends a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East on April 12, 2017 at UN headquarters in NY.

Tillerson said he had a "productive", two-hour meeting earlier in the day with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin. Like the hotline, the memorandum was suspended by Moscow following the United States strike.

But Lavrov reaffirmed Russia's view that the Syrian government wasn't responsible for the attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in northern Syria. -Russian dispute concerned culpability for the chemical weapons, broader disagreements over everything from Ukraine to Russia's support for once-fringe candidates in European elections were among other sore points.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov blasted U.S. claims that it has "irrefutable evidence" of election interference.

Mr Trump thanked allies for condemning the attack, but said they now needed to work together to resolve it. "No", Trump said. But, he added, "I see them using gas...we have to do something".

"Russia is open to this, open to dialogue with the USA in all different areas, not only to dialogue but to joint action aimed at results in the areas where this corresponds to the interests of both countries".

"It is unclear whether Russian Federation failed to take this obligation seriously or Russian Federation has been incompetent, but this distinction doesn't much matter to the dead".

Lavrov replied by criticizing the American strike on Sha'irat as "unlawful".

"It is clear to us the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end", he told reporters in Italy.

"We consider it of utmost importance to prevent the risks of replay of similar action in the future", he added.

The two leaders discussed improving channels of communication, with an emphasis on more senior level communication.

U.S. relations with Russian Federation "may be at an all-time low" said Donald Trump as he moved ever further away from his campaign promises to establish better ties with Moscow.

'Frankly, Putin is backing a person that's truly an evil person, ' Trump said, referring to Assad.

Until the chemical attack, the Trump administration had sought to step back from the USA position that Assad should leave power.

The less-than-positive assessments of relations by both Trump and Tillerson reflected the former Cold War foes' inability to forge greater cooperation, as Trump until recently has advocated.

"It can be said that the level of trust at the working level, especially at the military level, has not become better but most likely has degraded", Putin said in an interview broadcast Wednesday by state television channel Mir.

Echoing the Russian stance on cooperation, Tillerson said Russia and the U.S. will continue discussions about how to find a solution to the Syrian conflict. Giving Tillerson a chilly reception, Lavrov said Russian Federation was trying to understand the "real intentions" of the Trump administration.

  • Leroy Wright