Russia vetoes UN resolution to condemn Syria chemical attack

Jerome Frank
April 17, 2017

The toxic gas attack on April 4 prompted the USA to launch missile strikes on a Syrian air base and widened a rift between United States and Russian relations.

He said: "So Russia faces a choice: it can continue acting as a lifeline for Assad's murderous regime, or it could live up to its responsibilities as a global power, and use its influence over the regime to bring six long years of failed ceasefires and false dawns to an end".

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Russia vetoed a Western-backed U.N. resolution Wednesday that would have condemned the reported use of chemical weapons in a town in northern Syria and demanded a speedy investigation into the attack that killed almost 90 people.

The interview was broadcast as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held his first meeting with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

Speaking amid a backdrop of US investigations of Russian meddling in last year's presidential election, Lavrov also said Russia confirmed its willingness to dispel problems in relations with the U.S.

"There is a low level of trust between our two countries", Tillerson said candidly.

"Right now we're not getting along with Russian Federation at all", Trump flatly declared at a White House press conference on Wednesday, giving stark proof the president is moving ever further from his 2016 campaign promise to establish better ties with Moscow.

Lavrov says Russian Federation has lots of questions about the "very ambiguous" and "contradictory" ideas coming from the U.S. He says through a translator that it's important for Russian Federation to understand the "real intentions" of the Trump administration.

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Mr Tillerson, who was personally awarded an Order of Friendship medal by Mr Putin in 2013 when he was chief executive of ExxonMobil, met Mr Putin for two hours during which time the situation in Syria and the April 4th attack were discussed.

Finally, the New York Times reports that Trump's rapidly changing positions on Syria, Russia, and a host of other worldwide issues are giving leaders around the world "geopolitical whiplash".

Tillerson and Lavrov are meeting in Moscow amid rising tensions over Syria. "We consider it of utmost importance to prevent the risks of replay of similar action in the future".

Russia's deputy United Nations envoy, Vladimir Safronkov, said the draft resolution laid blame prior to an independent investigation. As evidence, Lavrov critically recalled USA interventions in Iraq, Libya and Yugoslavia that he said resulted in increased instability. "We're going to see how that all works out". "I do not know who saw them".

"We see attempts to hamper cooperation between Russian Federation and the USA and exacerbate confrontation", adding this was "short-sighted", TASS quoted him as saying.

President Donald Trump says Russian President Vladimir Putin is backing an "evil person" in Syria.

Even before the meetings, President Putin gave his own pointed assessment of U.S. -Russia relations today on Russian state television. "I would like to think that they didn't know, but certainly they could have".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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