Russia vetoes UN resolution to condemn Syria chemical attack

Posted April 15, 2017

More than 80 people were killed in what the United States has described as a nerve gas attack that President Bashar Assad's forces undoubtedly carried out.

But Trump did not seem to change in his assessment of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who Trump has spoken of admiringly in the past.

"The level of trust at the working level, especially at the military level, has not become better but most likely has degraded", Mr Putin said in an interview on state TV broadcaster Mir. Any expectations of an easy rapport have crashed into reality amid the nasty back-and-forth over Syria and ongoing United States investigations into Russia's activity connected to the U.S. presidential election.

Tillerson said Wednesday that he did not have "firm information" to indicate any Russian involvement in the attack.

"This fixation on trying to oust this or that dictator, an authoritarian or totalitarian leader, is well known to us, and we know how it ends", Lavrov said. "I think it's very bad for mankind", Trump said. "The talks turned out to be frank and extensive, we covered the entire range of key issues concerning our bilateral relations and cooperation on the global level".

Adding further fuel to rising tensions: the White House's move to circulate declassified US intelligence accusing Moscow of aiding Assad's government in covering up a gruesome, nerve gas attack that killed more than 80 people.

"We have numerous problems, including those, which were left as action-delayed mines from the [Obama] administration", Lavrov continued.

"We hope that the Russian government concludes that they have aligned themselves with an unreliable partner in Bashar al-Assad".

"After the summit [with Chinese President Xi Jinping], it became clear that Russian Federation was not playing a constructive role in the wake of the Syrian regime's attack", the official said. "And we suspect that they have help", a United States military official told reporters at a background briefing Friday. And they, again, have brought this on themselves.

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One of his deputies went further, telling Russia's state-owned news agency: "In general, primitiveness and loutishness are very characteristic of the current rhetoric coming out of Washington".

"We now understand each other better". Russian Federation strongly opposes the move in a region it considers part of its strategic sphere of interest.

Russian Federation blocked a Western effort at the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to condemn the gas attack and push Assad to cooperate with worldwide inquiries into the incident. Bolivia voted against the measure and 10 other council members supported it.

The April 4 attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun killed scores of people and prompted the USA to launch a cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base in response, its first direct assault on the Assad government in the six-year-old conflict.

Reactions to Trump's decision to retaliate have varied from supportive to condemning.

Russian Federation - refusing to concede that Assad - was behind the attacks.

In the lead up to the government takeover of the rebel-held half of Aleppo last past year, Human Rights Watch reported on the government's "systematic" use of chlorine gas, marking at least eight incidents in which military helicopters dropped the chemical into residential areas. Western governments and Syrian monitoring groups, including the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, say the chemical assault harmed civilians.

Earlier Russia's President Vladimir Putin rejected allegations that Syria was behind the chemical attack, saying Syria had given up its chemical stockpile. "No", Trump said in the interview, which aired Wednesday in the U.S. Moscow officials also said the USA attack led them to consider scrapping a "deconfliction" communication agreement with the United States that provided logistical military coordination in Syria.