Russian Federation vetoes United Nations condemnation of Syria toxic gas attack

Kristopher Drake
April 17, 2017

It came as the two nations agreed to co-operate on an worldwide investigation into the Syrian chemical weapons attack last week that prompted retaliatory American missile strikes. He said President Bashar al-Assad's government was responsible.

The draft resolution, aimed at condemning the April 4th chemical weapons attack in Syria and calling on the Syrian regime to cooperate with an independent worldwide investigation, would have passed if not for Russia's veto.

Until the chemical attack, the Trump administration had sought to step back from the USA position that Assad should leave power. Tillerson and Lavrov said in a joint press conference that Syria was a major subject in their discussions.

Speaking amid a backdrop of USA investigations of Russian meddling in last year's presidential election, Lavrov also said Russia confirmed its willingness to dispel problems in relations with the U.S.

"We both have agreed our lines of communication shall always remain open", Tillerson said.

With tensions rising over Syria and other issues, President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that USA relations with Russian Federation "may be at an all-time low" as he moved ever further away from his campaign promises to establish better ties with Moscow. Lavrov also said Moscow was ready to revive an air safety agreement in Syria. "We are very concerned about Russian interference in the October elections in Montenegro", the official said, "including credible reports of Russian support for an attempted election-day attack on the government".

The men know each other well from Tillerson's days as Exxon Mobil CEO. Putin had even honored Tillerson a friendship award.

Putin is the leader of Russian Federation.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson led the charge, along with Defense Secretary James Mattis and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Tillerson meets Putin amid "low point" in US-Russia tiesThe U.S. said relations with Russia are at a 'low point, ' but both countries said they are willing to improve ties. But any such expectations have crashed into reality amid the nasty back-and-forth over Syria and ongoing USA investigations into Russia's alleged interference in America's US presidential election.

MARGARET WARNER: In turn, President Trump had harsh new words for the Russians and their Syrian ally Assad in an interview that aired on FOX Business Network.

"We see attempts to hamper cooperation between Russian Federation and the USA and exacerbate confrontation", adding this was "short-sighted", TASS quoted him as saying. In an interview yesterday, Putin said that if Donald Trump had meant to bring about a thaw in U.S. relations with Russian Federation, he has failed to see this intention through. "If you have any examples I'd be glad if you could share them with me". While he said it was important that Mr Assad's departure "is done in an orderly way", he said "the final outcome does not provide for a role for Assad or the Assad family for the future governments in Syria". "I would like to think that they didn't know, but certainly they could have". "Are we going to get involved with Syria?"

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