Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Russian Federation to reopen vital communication link with U.S

Russian Federation to reopen vital communication link with U.S

Lavrov said he had a "frank" talk with Tillerson. Any expectations of an easy rapport have crashed into reality amid the nasty back-and-forth over Syria and ongoing US investigations into Russia's activity connected to the USA presidential election.

The US did not know prior to the attack it was going to happen, the official emphasized.

It's the eighth time Russian Federation has vetoed a proposed Security Council resolution on Syria. The two leaders were expected to discuss disagreement about whether Syrian President Bashar Assad or his opposition was responsible for a chemical weapons attack last week that led to us retaliatory cruise missiles.

"I view the U.S. missile strike as an aggression, as it took place without an approval from the United Nations and without any investigation on behalf of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which could have identified those responsible behind the use of chemical weapons", Muallem said.

While Lavrov and Putin were less than welcoming to Tillerson on Wednesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov came out throwing haymakers. Though the resolution would have provided chemical weapons investigators with access in Syria, a Russian representative to the United Nations said it didn't "serve a useful objective".

Russia Wednesday vetoed a Western-drafted Security Council resolution on an alleged chemical attack in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib. More than 80 people were killed in what the US has described as a nerve gas attack that Assad's forces undoubtedly carried out.

More than 80 people were killed in what the US has described as a nerve gas attack that Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces undoubtedly carried out.

Speaking of the missile strikes he authorized against the base that carried out the chemical attack, Trump later added: "I have absolutely no doubt we did the right thing".

As Tillerson was meeting with Russian leaders in Moscow, journalists in the room described the scene as tense.

And Putin, who US intelligence agencies say tried to help Trump get elected, insisted that relations with the USA had only gone downhill since Trump took office in January.

"It reminds me of the events in 2003 when USA envoys to the Security Council were demonstrating what they said were chemical weapons found in Iraq", Putin said.

But even if there is a definitive finding of Russian complicity, it's not clear the Pentagon or the White House would make that information public, a senior U.S. official said.

He also rejected American claims of certain evidence that Assad ordered the chemical attack.

Syria's government has denied responsibility for the gas attack that killed at least 87 people, many of whom were children. But Tillerson repeated the administration's new belief that "the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end".

Still, Tillerson sought to stress the positives from his meetings.

But Lavrov said some progress had been made on Syria at the meeting and that a working group would be set up to examine the poor state of U.S. -Russia ties.

Back to New York, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that Russia would continue to be isolated from the worldwide community, in the wake of the Russian veto of the draft resolution.

But such hopes appeared optimistic as the diplomats outlined their sharply diverging views on Syria.

When a reporter asked Tillerson whether war crime charges would be raised against Assad for using chemical weapons, Tillerson did not rule out the possibility. "It is an attempt by him to throw up false flags, create confusion", said department spokesman Mark Toner, alluding to what Assad said in the interview Wednesday.

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