Russian Federation challenges U.S. to prove chemical attack in Syria

Alvin Kelly
April 20, 2017

However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said, 'That is not true, ' when CNN asked about US allegations that Russian Federation may be complicit.

Before Trump faced the media, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held talks at the Kremlin that failed to bridge a deep gap of trust between the rival nuclear powers.

The Kremlin had previously declined to confirm Putin would meet Tillerson, reflecting the renewed tension. The statement was made soon after Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the same assessment earlier in the day.

But the civil war in Syria has driven a wedge between Moscow and Washington, upending what many in Russian Federation hoped would be a transformation in relations, which reached a post-Cold War low under Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama.

Mr Tillerson and Mr Lavrov announced a number of measures to cool the confrontation.

Meanwhile, Tillerson said that he and Lavrov discussed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at length and that he made clear that the Trump administration has come around to the view that the Syrian President can not stay in power.

But on his first trip to Moscow as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson stood his ground.

In Paris, French President Francois Hollande said: "Russia bears a heavy responsibility" by systematically opposing multilateral action to protect its Syrian ally Assad.

"You can't just ask Russian Federation to redefine its interests", he said, adding that "Putin doesn't do favors".

Tillerson got what has been described as "an icy welcome".

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One of Lavrov's deputies was even more undiplomatic. He said working groups would be established to improve U.S.

For Trump, it's a dramatic reversal from his repeated campaign pledges to forge a new U.S.

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.

After the talks, Tillerson warned "there is a low level of trust between our two countries". "The world's foremost nuclear powers can not have this relationship", he added.

Moscow's hostility to Trump administration figures is a sharp change from previous year, when Putin hailed Trump as a strong figure.

Mr Trump also backtracked on his criticism of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation at a joint press conference with its secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, saying: "I said it was obsolete; it's no longer obsolete".

On Wednesday, standing with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump echoed that sentiment.

Only weeks ago, it appeared that Trump, who praised Putin throughout the US election campaign, was poised for a potentially historic rapprochement with Russian Federation. I have absolutely no doubt we did the right thing.

She told the BBC during a visit to Sandhurst: "Russia is on the wrong side of this argument but we are willing to work with Russia to bring an end to the conflict in Syria, to bring about a political solution in Syria, but that political solution has to be without Assad".

"It is long past time for Russian Federation to stop covering for Assad and for Russian Federation to push for peace and not be part of the problem", Mrs Haley said.

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