Russia relations 'may be at an all-time low', says Donald Trump

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 25, 2017

The U.S. has blamed the Syrian government for launching the attack that killed more than 80, while Russian Federation has claimed that toxic agents were released from a rebel chemical arsenal hit by Syrian warplanes. According to recent data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), 84 people, including 27 children died as a result of the tragic incident.

Western allies blamed the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad and US President Donald Trump ordered missile strikes against a Syrian air force base in response. "Right now they don't".

"It'd be a fantastic thing if we got along with Putin and if we got along with Russia", Trump said.

Such a rider was a nonstarter for all of the resolutions that Russian Federation and China have opposed because it carried the prospect of the forceful removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov told the council before the vote that during talks in Moscow Russia asked for an independent worldwide investigation to examine the April 4 attack on Khan Sheikhoun.

"I think he fundamentally doesn't understand the nature of the Russia-China relationship", she said, describing it as pragmatic.

The US president, known for his unfiltered language, this week called the Syrian autocrat an "animal" on Fox News, hours after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told his European counterparts that "it is clear to all of us that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end". "How do you know that?"

With a "no" vote from Russian Federation, the UN Security Council today failed to adopt a resolution that would have condemned the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria and called on the Government to cooperate with an investigation into the incident.

Lavrov said Moscow was hoping to understand Washington's "real intentions" and warned that Moscow considered it "fundamentally important" to prevent more "unlawful" U.S. strikes against its ally Syria.

Tillerson said Syria's government had committed more than 50 attacks using chlorine or other chemical weapons over the duration of the conflict. Indeed, Trump said they may be "at an all-time low". "And the Russians are going to try to extract many concessions from the USA before that actually happens".

Russian Federation has criticized previous investigations carried out by the OPCW and the United Nations which blamed the Syrian government for at least three chemical weapons attacks without visiting the sites.

Trump had been eager to improve relations with Moscow and often expressed confidence that his ability to bond with Putin would ease friction between Washington and Moscow over Russia's role in Syria and its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Russian Federation has blamed Syrian rebels. "We need to see Russian Federation choose to side with the civilized world over an Assad government that chooses to terrorize its own people". Calling for a United Nations investigation, Putin held to his claim that it was actually Assad's opponents who introduced chemical weapons into Syria's harrowing civil war.

Lavrov on Friday accused the US and its allies of what he described as attempts to stymie an global probe into the attack. "We hope that the USA president will become aware of that analysis", he said Thursday.

Only weeks ago, it appeared that Trump, who praised Putin throughout the USA election campaign, was poised for a potentially historic rapprochement with Russian Federation.

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