Trump declares US-Russia relations may be at 'all-time low'
Apr 20 2017
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday said that relations with Moscow are at "a low point" after meetings in Russian Federation that seemed to do little to bridge a deepening diplomatic divide over the Syria chemical attack.
"Unbiased experts have to be dispatched to the place where chemical weapons were used", said Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in translation.
The United States and Russian Federation agreed Wednesday to call for an worldwide investigation of the deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria last week that prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to launch a retaliatory missile strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. "No", Trump said in the interview, which aired yesterday in the U.S.
Neither Syria nor Russian Federation used their air defense assets to try to fend off last week's USA attack on the Shayrat air base, which Washington said had served as a platform for the chemical attack.
Russian Federation blocked a motion brought to the UN Security Council that would have required the Syrian government to cooperate with investigators following the attack in Idlib, which left 89 people dead and triggered retaliatory strikes by the United States.
"To my colleagues from Russian Federation - you are isolating yourselves from the global community every time one of Assad's planes drop another barrel bomb on civilians and every time Assad tries to starve another community to death", U.S. Ambassador to the United NationsNikki Haley told 15-member Security Council.
The Russians operate drones in the area routinely so the Pentagon can not be certain the drone operator even knew what was happening, but the drone was a Russian asset. "The world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship", he said.
But after last week's chemical weapons attack their relationship is increasingly becoming a burden for Putin, jeopardizing chances for improved relations with the U.S. "We consider it of utmost importance to prevent the risks of replay of similar action in the future". Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif emphasized that the participants warned that any unilateral action by the U.S.is unacceptable.
".With its veto, Russian Federation said no to accountability". Even if we have them, we wouldn't use them. "We may be at an all-time low in terms of a relationship with Russian Federation", said Trump. "We'll see what happens". Russia wants the U.S.to eliminate sanctions on Moscow related to its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
USA relations with the Kremlin have become politically toxic for the White House on the back of claims Putin conspired to get Trump elected. Beyond the expanding ledger of disagreements, Trump has limited ability to offer Moscow concessions at a time US investigators are examining if Russian agents and Trump campaign associates colluded to help the billionaire businessman win last year's presidential election.
Lavrov doubled down on Russia's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, repeating denials that Assad's government was to blame for the gas attack last week and adding a new theory that the attack may have been faked by Assad's enemies.