Russia-US relations at an 'all-time low' following Syria strike

Posted April 18, 2017

President Vladimir Putin's meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hasn't produced any positive shift yet in Russia-U.S. relations, the Kremlin said Thursday. It's very bad for this world. "This is an animal".

Mr Lavrov also disputed the USA claim that the Syrian government was behind the chemical attacks on the town of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4th, stating that Russian Federation had "no confirmation" chemical attacks had taken place and was calling for an independent investigation.

United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday laid bare the deepened rift caused over Syria and other issues with Russian Federation, and said that relations between Washington and Moscow "may be at an all-time low".

Talks w/ #G7ForeignAffairs counterparts underway. Later: Syria, Iraq, Libya, CT, climate, Iran.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Trump's administration has found itself under pressure from those who "want to prevent it from curing the wounds inflicted by Barack Obama's administration and are using the Russian card in internal political struggle".

But the final draft includes a paragraph that the Russians objected to last week stressing Syria's requirement to provide investigators with flight plans and information about air operations on April 4 when Khan Sheikhoun was attacked, names of helicopter squadron commanders, and immediate access to air bases where they believe an attack may have been launched.

However President Putin showed little inclination to respond to the U.S. initiative, saying he was aware of planned "provocations" to blame Syria's government for using chemical weapons.

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"It's deplorable, and we regret what is going on, but we can do little except asking to back accusations with facts", Lavrov said.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has come under fire over his handling of the G7 gathering, which put off decisions on any further sanctions until the outcome of an investigation into the chemical weapon attack.

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.

He insisted the option of sanctions remained on the table and said there would now be an investigation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

SecTillerson: Our military action was a direct response to the Assad regime's barbarism.

TILLERSON tends to shy away from the glare of publicity, but this week he was unable to avoid it.

"It is clear to all of us that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end". He added there was no talk Wednesday about a possible Trump-Putin meeting.