Disagreements on Syria puts US-Russia relations at 'all-time low'

Disagreements on Syria puts US-Russia relations at 'all-time low'

Lavrov also said that during a Moscow meeting on April 12 with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson the sides reached a common understanding that the US provocative missile strike against Syria should not take place again.

It was the eighth veto by Russian Federation, a close ally of Assad, on a Western-backed Syria resolution and reflected the deep division that has left the UN's most powerful body struggling to tackle the use of banned chemical weapons and to help end the six-year Syrian conflict.

But Lavrov said some progress has been made and that a working group would examine the state of US-Russia ties.

The Syrian government's suspected chemical weapons attack on civilians last week amounts to a "war crime", the US State Department has said.

Using its veto power, Russian Federation not only blocked the United Nations from investigating a recent chemical attack in Syria, but it kept the U.N. from even condemning it.

Last week's poison gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the rebel-held province of Idlib near the Turkish border was the most lethal since a sarin attack on August 21, 2013 killed hundreds in a rebel-controlled suburb of the capital Damascus.

He reiterated the USA position that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must eventually relinquish power in Syria, a position starkly at odds with Russian Federation.

"We may be at an all-time low" in relations, Trump said at a news conference at the White House following a visit by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's secretary-general.

Trump used the same rationale in December to question intelligence reports that Russian Federation had interfered with the 2016 election. But he said it was an open question where relations go from here. "That's a butcher", Trump said.

"Part of the reason active measures have worked in this US election is because the commander-in-chief has used Russian active measures, at times, against his opponents", Clint Watts, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who has researched Russian information warfare, told the Senate recently. But any such expectations have been dashed amid the war in Syria and ongoing United States investigations into Russia's alleged interference in America's United States presidential election.

The Russian foreign minister also wants to know the real goals of the USA in Syria, calling the Trump administration's positions so far "ambiguous" and "contradictory", according to CNBC.

Tillerson reiterated the U.S. position that Assad must eventually relinquish power in Syria.

"It is clear to all of us that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end", Tillerson declared Wednesday, openly challenging Moscow to abandon its Syrian ally.

Tillerson was expected to challenge Russian Federation to distance itself from Assad and his Iranian backers and to work with Washington's Western and Arab allies to find a political solution to the conflict with Syria under new leadership.

Trump's comments on the state of U.S.

He said Russian Federation vetoed a Western draft United Nations resolution on Wednesday because it failed to mention the need to inspect the area of the attack.

"There is a low level of trust between our two countries", Tillerson said in a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. "I think it's very bad for mankind".

It was also the first official trip by a prominent member of Mr Trump's cabinet.

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