Tensions High as US, Russia Call for Syrian Chemical Weapons Probe

Cheryl Sanders
April 13, 2017

"Based on everything I'm hearing, things went pretty well, maybe better than anticipated", he said.

Meanwhile, Russia vetoes a United Nations resolution Wednesday condemning the reported use of the chemical weapons attack in Syria and urging a speedy investigation.

In Washington, Trump said the United States was not getting along "at all" with Moscow, adding that the relationship "may be at an all-time low".

The US told Russian Federation at the United Nations that it is isolating itself by continuing to support the Syrian president, while Britain said its scientists found that sarin was used in a deadly toxic gas attack on Syrian civilians last week.

The Trump administration says it is spending a disproportionate share on defense compared with its 27 partners, and that it expects action by the time Trump meets with other alliance leaders on May 25. "So I felt we had to do something about it". "I think he had a very successful meeting in Russia", Trump said. Moscow's hostility to Trump administration figures is a sharp change from previous year, when Putin hailed Trump as a strong figure and Russian state television was consistently full of effusive praise for him. Some of Washington's allies had been wary of Trump, who spoke during his election campaign of seeking closer ties with Moscow and questioned the value of USA support for its traditional friends. Putin had even honoured Tillerson with a friendship award.

"There is a low level of trust between our two countries", Tillerson said.

His top diplomat offered a similarly grim assessment after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow earlier on Wednesday.

During "frank" talks in the Russian capital, Mr Lavrov also said the Kremlin was willing to reinstate an air safety agreement put on hold last week aimed at preventing accidents between United States and Russian jets in the skies above Syria. He noted a shared vision of an "uncompromising" war on terrorism. "But when I see people using frightful, awful chemical weapons. and see these lovely kids that are dead in their father's arms, or you see kids gasping for life. when you see that, I immediately called (Defense Secretary) General Mattis".

But more crucially, it would cast Russian Federation as a loser in the six-year Syrian conflict, dealing a blow to its aspirations to regain Soviet-era global clout and prestige.

Since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, there has been conclusive evidence that chemical weapons have been used against civilians at different times and locations.

The Tillerson and Putin meeting, which lasted nearly two hours, comes after officials in Moscow initially said Putin would not meet with Tillerson during his first visit to Russian Federation, later hedging to say a sit down was possible.

Among 15 council members, ten voted in favor; Bolivia and the council's veto-wielding power Russian Federation voted against; China, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan abstained.

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. "We're going to see how that all works out", Trump said. "I suggest you look at this vote very carefully and heed this warning", she added.

This brings us the Obama's Iran deal that allegedly prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Russian Federation has vetoed a draft resolution at the UN Security Council that would have condemned last week's alleged chemical attack in Syria and demanded that Damascus cooperate with investigators.

"We owe it to humanity, we owe it to the Syrian people to do everything we can to allow Russian Federation to play a productive role".

As a refresher, these words come amid an investigation into the scope of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and what, if any, connection Trump's campaign staff and transition team may have had with the country as the meddling occurred.

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