Wednesday, 26 April, 2017

Trump declares US-Russia relations may be at 'all-time low'

Trump says US-Russia relations may be at “all-time low” Russia vetoes UN resolution to condemn Syria chemical attack
Christy Curtis | 20 April, 2017, 06:16

During a hostile visit to Moscow, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also said US-Russia ties had reached a "low point" - despite a lengthy meeting with Mr Putin and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

In an interview today, Russian President Vladimir Putin reported that the level of trust with the United States on a day-to-day, working basis began getting worse after Trump took office.

U.S. relations with the Kremlin have become politically toxic for the White House on the back of claims Putin conspired to get Trump elected. "The world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship", he said at a news conference, adding that Moscow and Washington had agreed to establish a working group to identify problems and improve bilateral relations.

Tillerson's trip to Moscow represented the highest-level contact between the US and Russian Federation since Trump took office in January.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday called for the United Nations' chemical weapons watchdog to send an global group of inspectors to investigate an alleged toxic gas attack in Syria last week.

Tillerson said Wednesday that Russian meddling in the USA election was a serious problem that had been "fairly well established".

Trump praised Putin as a strong leader during his long campaign for the White House, but on Wednesday he highlighted the Russian president's role in the Syrian civil war.

Just as Mr Tillerson sat down for talks, a senior Russian official assailed the "primitiveness and loutishness" of USA rhetoric, part of a volley of statements that appeared timed to maximise the awkwardness during the first visit by a member of Mr Trump's Cabinet. It sees Russian Federation attempting to undermine North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and European Union unity, supporting violent separatist insurgencies in Georgia and Ukraine, and propping up a leader in Syrian President Bashar Assad who is responsible for a civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.

Putin denounced the US strike and called the chemical attack a provocation aimed at blaming Assad.

"We know that we all need to contribute our fair share", Stoltenberg said.

Lavrov greeted Tillerson with unusually icy remarks, denouncing the missile strike on Syria as illegal and accusing Washington of behaving unpredictably. Such claims are even more self-implicating. Russian Federation said no to cooperation with the U.N.'s independent investigation. Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif emphasized that the participants warned that any unilateral action by the U.S.is unacceptable. Russian Federation wants an worldwide investigation of the chemical attack, Lavrov told reporters in Moscow, but the resolution offered by the USA and its allies was aimed "more at legitimizing the arguments against Damascus".

The top diplomats from the two countries have also acknowledged that there is little trust between them.

Tillerson admitted: "The world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship".

Trump said during the meeting that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is "no longer obsolete", reversing his election campaign stance on the bloc, which had alarmed some of America's closest allies in Europe.

Trump said USA relations with Russian Federation were not going well.

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