President Trump says US-Russia relations may be at 'all-time low'

Monday, 17 Apr, 2017

Safronkov said Russia's foreign minister asked U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during talks earlier Wednesday in Moscow to jointly request the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons "to immediately put together an independent worldwide mission" to visit Khan Sheikhoun and the airbase that the U.S. attacked in retaliation.

-Russian relations had reached such a low point, a Kremlin spokesman said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov even calls the USA response "unlawful" - when the war crime of intentionally bombing hospitals has been one of Russia's signature tactics in Syria.

On Wednesday night, Russian Federation vetoed another UN Security Council resolution condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria and forcing Bashar al-Assad's regime to cooperate with the worldwide investigators who have been appointed to review the Idlib attack.

The U.S. cruise-missile attack on a Syrian air base last week escalated tensions in the Syrian conflict, Lavrov said.

Still, Washington is not standing in the way of an investigation.

Not long before Trump spoke, Russian Federation vetoed a Western-backed United Nations resolution that would have condemned the chemical weapons attack and demanded a speedy investigation.

"Putin is the leader of Russian Federation".

Giving Tillerson a chilly reception, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia was trying to understand the "real intentions" of the Trump administration. At least 86 people were killed in the attack.

The US now assesses that Syria has re-established a unit of personnel associated with chemical weapons that existed before the 2013 agreement in which the Syrian government pledged to give up its weapons inventory.

The Russian official spoke of the attempts to derail the Syrian ceasefire, and noted the provocative role of the USA missile strike against Syria. "I suggest you look at this vote very carefully and heed this warning".

"We discussed the issue that as time goes by, and more and more evidence continues to be gathered, it is possible that the threshold necessary to charge individuals, including Bashar al-Assad, may be achieved", he said, before stressing that there was a "high legal hurdle". "We should be guided by common sense, not emotions".

"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.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley and acting president of the U.N. Security Council eviscerated Russian Federation. "So, I felt we had to do something about it".

Tillerson said he wanted "a very open, candid and frank exchange" with Lavrov.

France's U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said "with this attack, the Syrian regime has plumbed new depths of horror".

Mr Peskov said in a conference call with reporters that President Putin's meeting with Mr Tillerson reflected the "understanding of the need to maintain a dialogue to search for solutions".

In an interview broadcast Wednesday before the meeting with Tillerson, Putin said relations with the US have worsened in the first few months of Trump's presidency.

Putin also said on Russian TV that the level of trust has "deteriorated".

It also ridiculed comments by President Bashar al-Assad in an interview with AFP to the effect that the alleged attack was fabricated by the United States to justify an American military strike.

It was not the first meeting between the two men.

The Russian leader has previously met the American when he was head of U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil.