15 April, 2017
Russia's top foreign minister said Wednesday that his country will consider reopening a phone line with the United States used to avoid aircraft collisions over Syria only if the USA agrees to stop attacking Syrian government targets.
Washington blames Russia's ally, Syrian president Bashar Assad, while Moscow says Syrian rebels are responsible. "[Vladimir] Putin is the leader of Russian Federation". He said Moscow has lots of questions about the "very ambiguous" and "contradictory" ideas emanating from Washington. Russian Federation hasn't seen "a single fact, or even a hint of fact" to back up the U.S. government's allegations of meddling in the elections, Lavrov said.
In Washington, Moscow and NY, the Trump administration publicly chastised Putin but privately worked to hash out increasingly bitter differences with him.
He said the visit - the first to Moscow by a senior Trump administration official - offered an opportunity to clarify the chances of cooperation "above all on the formation of a broad anti-terrorist front".
This is the eighth time during Syria's six year civil war that Moscow has used its veto power on the Security Council to shield Assad's government.
Tillerson said Syria's government had committed more than 50 attacks using chlorine or other chemical weapons over the duration of the conflict. "We're going to see how that all works out".
Disagreement over Assad's role in the chemical attack remained an area of tension during the press conference.
Trump said the USA is "not getting along with Russian Federation at all" and relations between the two global powers are at an "all-time low".
The relationship between the two countries is at 'an all-time low, ' Trump proclaimed at a White House press conference tied to the visit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary general.More news: Hillary Clinton Claims Misogyng Played Role in Election Loss
"Frankly, Putin is backing a person that's truly an evil person", Trump told the Fox Business Network, referring to Assad.
"Additionally, our information indicates personnel historically associated with Syria's chemical weapons programme were at Shayrat airfield in late March making preparations for an upcoming attack in northern Syria, and they were present at the airfield on the day of the attack", the United States government report reads.
Moscow has insisted that the civilians who died there were killed by toxic agents released from a rebel chemical arsenal struck by Syrian warplanes. "I think it's very bad for Russian Federation".
"Right now we're not getting along with Russian Federation at all", Trump said flatly during a White House news conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Soltenberg.
Of Assad, Trump added: "This is an animal".
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the veto "puts Russian Federation on the wrong side of the argument", while French President Francois Hollande warned Russian Federation it "bears a heavy responsibility" for continuing to protect Assad.
CNBC reported that earlier Wednesday, Putin said that U.S. -Russia relations have "deteriorated" since President Donald Trump took office, according to a transcript of an interview published by the Kremlin.
"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", he told state broadcaster Mir TV.