Trump administration shifts rhetoric on Russian Federation

Kristopher Drake
April 20, 2017

He tells Fox Business Network that Putin's support for Assad is "very bad for Russian Federation".

"We held talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, we have just had a long, two-hour meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin", he said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who arrived at the head of a diplomatic delegation in Moscow on Friday morning and met with Syrian FM Walid Muallem first, met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov afterward.

He also said he did not know Russian president Vladimir Putin.

"The working level of confidence in Russian-American relations, especially at the military level, under the administration of Donald Trump has not improved, but rather worsened", he told MIR.

Trump, last week, had ordered missile strikes at a Syrian airbase after a chemical attack in the country's Idlib province killed 87 civilians, including many women and children. The redeployment of USA military equipment to the border with Jordan was among the issues discussed by the foreign ministers of Russia, Syria and Iran Sergey Lavrov, Walid Muallem and Mohammad Javad Zarif in Moscow on Friday, the Syrian foreign minister said.

The Pentagon has been looking for any evidence that Moscow knew about or was complicit in the attack in Idlib province that killed at least 80 people and injured dozens more, the CNN reported quoting a senior U.S. defense official as saying.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that Russian Federation by vetoing a Security Council draft has said no to peace in Syria. "The U.K. shares the USA assessment that it is highly likely that the regime was responsible for a sarin attack".

In Russia's view, the probe conducted by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons should be widened to include experts from many nations, he said. "But I do think it's going to happen at a certain point", Trump said.

Stoltenberg said he is certain that this approach has been supported by the United States, partly because the nation contributes with the forces to our increased presence in eastern part of alliance, as well as in southeast of alliance in Romania.

Tillerson reiterated the U.S. belief that Assad ordered the attack, though he stepped back from the United States charge that Russia was covering up Assad's culpability."With respect to Russia's complicity or knowledge of the chemical weapons attack, we have no firm information to indicate that there was any involvement by Russia, Russian forces into this attack", he said.

Russian Federation had also strongly objected to a USA strike against the Syrian air base.

"If any doubts have appeared, then it's possible to carry out checks" by global investigators, said Putin, who compared the USA accusations to the faulty intelligence used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

At their meeting, Lavrov told Tillerson Moscow was hoping to understand Washington s "real intentions" and warned that Moscow considered it "fundamentally important" to prevent more "unlawful" USA strikes against its ally Syria. This has built for a long period of time.

The result: not only no warm up in relations between the two superpowers, but, as Tillerson put it, "a low level of trust between our countries", a relation that "the world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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