France says Russian Federation bears a heavy responsibility over Syria

The less-than-positive assessments of relations by both Trump and Tillerson reflected the former Cold War foes' inability to forge greater cooperation, as Trump until recently has advocated.

Peskov also said Putin had given Tillerson his views on the situation in Syria, and how it was likely to develop.

Trump, who last week ordered airstrikes on a Syrian air base in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack, was asked Wednesday if Syria could have launched the attack without Russia's knowledge.

Russian Federation on Wednesday vetoed a United Nations draft resolution demanding the Syrian government cooperate with an investigation of a suspected chemical attack that the West blames on President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

But RC Hammond, a senior Tillerson aide, said flatly: "No agreements were reached".

Western powers have lashed out at Russian Federation after it vetoed a United Nations resolution that would have condemned the suspected use of chemical weapons in northern Syria and demanded a speedy investigation.

"I can see how someone without intelligence experience like Ivanka Trump would be moved to point a finger, but that's not how things are done in the intelligence community", Giraldi continued.

Tillerson's estimation comes after a week of sparring between the White House and the Kremlin over the chemical weapons attack carried out by the Bashar al-Assad regime.

Gorsuch confirmed to Supreme Court
And yet in many ways the showdown had been pre-ordained, the final chapter in years of partisan warfare over judicial nominees. The confirmation wins them control of a court which is the final arbiter on the most controversial United States legal issues.


The diplomats know each other well from Mr Tillerson's days as Exxon Mobil chief executive. Putin had even granted Tillerson with a friendship honor.

He insisted several times that his forces had turned over all chemical weapons stockpiles in 2013, under a deal brokered by Russian Federation to avoid threatened United States military action. "They were there", he said. Mr Johnson said: "I am dismayed that Russian Federation has once again blocked the UN Security Council and in so doing refused to condemn the use of chemical weapons or support a full UN investigation into the attack."This puts Russian Federation on the wrong side of the argument".

"To my colleagues from Russian Federation, you are isolating yourselves from the global community every time one of Assad's planes drop another barrel bomb on civilians and every time Assad tries to starve another community to death", Haley said.

Tillerson reiterated the USA belief that Assad ordered the attack, though he stepped back from the US charge that Russian Federation was covering up Assad's culpability.

Tillerson said punitive sanctions for the alleged meddling - imposed by Obama against Moscow in December - were also discussed at Wednesday's meeting.

As Tillerson sat down for talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday, a senior Russian official assailed the "primitiveness and loutishness" of United States rhetoric, part of a volley of statements that appeared timed to maximize the awkwardness during the first visit to Moscow by a member of Trump's cabinet. The U.S. and its allies are trying to increase pressure on Russian Federation to end its support for Assad, which has been crucial in keeping the regime in power after six years of civil war.

Until the chemical attack, the Trump administration had sought to step back from the US position that Assad should leave power.

Mr. Mattis also emphasised that the strike against the regime does not signal a change in the us policy of viewing the Islamic State as the primary enemy in Syria.

  • Douglas Reid