“It was a mistake”. “I can only tell you what I would like to do”. The US response was to launch a cruise missile attack at a Syrian airfield raising worldwide tensions.
Moscow’s hostility to Trump administration figures is a sharp change from a year ago, when Putin hailed Trump as a strong figure and Russian state television was consistently full of effusive praise for him.
He said “it would be a fantastic thing” if the two nations got along better but cautioned that “it may be just the opposite”.
She told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday: “We are not going to look the other way”.
“Today’s vote could have been a turning point”, she said. Washington claimed that the airbase was the origin of the alleged chemical attack. It said the Syrian planes were in the vicinity of Khan Sheikhoun about 20 minutes before the attack and left shortly afterward.
Moscow remains angry because of last week’s USA airstrikes against a Syrian airstrip in reaction to a deadly chemical attack earlier in the week.
Currently, Russian armed forces stationed in Syria are backing Assad and his allies in a civil war against opposition groups.
He has arrived in Moscow briefed with the task of challenging Kremlin support for Syria’s leader. They endorsed a joint call for Russian Federation to abandon Assad. But Tillerson repeated the administration’s new belief that “the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end”.
It is also the first direct assault by the United States on Bashar al Assad’s government. Washington says it has no doubt about Assad’s responsibility.
Mr Johnson said it was “highly likely” the Syrian regime was responsible for the toxic gas attack and called on Russian Federation to stop acting “as a lifeline for Assad’s murderous regime”.
As Tillerson landed in Moscow, senior White House officials briefed reporters on declassified USA intelligence they said disproved Russia’s claim that rebels were responsible for the chemical weapons.
Assad regime’s use of chemical and conventional weapons is not only killing Syrian women and children but also humanity itself is dying, Presidential aide Ibrahim Kalin said in his column on Wednesday.
Trump denied further plans in Syria.
Beyond Syria, Russia’s alleged meddling in the United States presidential election also hovered over what was the first face-to-face encounter between Mr Putin and any Trump administration Cabinet member.
A senior Trump administration official called Putin’s remarks part of a Russian “disinformation campaign”.
In a further indication of the stark differences, Russian Federation also slammed as “unacceptable” a proposed United Nations resolution put forward by the US, Britain and France on the alleged chemical attack, and said it would veto it in its current form at a vote expected later Wednesday.
Some parties want to “torpedo” US-Russia relations, Lavrov said, whether to achieve political goals or foreign policy gains. The diplomats know each other well from Tillerson’s days as Exxon Mobil CEO. Putin had even honored Tillerson a friendship award.
The U.S. position on Syria remains a mystery to Moscow and Washington’s rhetoric tends to be primitive and loutish, Russian news agencies quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Wednesday.
Before meeting Putin, Tillerson received a chilly reception from Lavrov, who told Tillerson that Russian Federation was trying to understand the “real intentions” of the Trump administration.
Western countries have been calling for Assad’s departure since 2011, the start of a civil war that has killed at least 400,000 people and created the world’s worst refugee crisis. Moscow rejected calls by the USA to withdraw support for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
As the powerbrokers wrangled over the six-year war in Syria that has cost some 320,000 lives, a deal on the ground to evacuate four besieged towns began Wednesday with an exchange of prisoners between rebels and government forces, local sources and state media said.