Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

'Unlikely' Russia had no knowledge of Syrian chemical attack

'Unlikely' Russia had no knowledge of Syrian chemical attack

Russian Federation deployed yet another U.N. Security Council veto Wednesday to protect Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad from worldwide condemnation for last week's deadly chemical weapons attack.

The president was also asked about U.S. -Russia ties amid Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to Moscow.

Of course, those improved ties never came to pass, with the administration abandoning plans to ease sanctions on Russian Federation shortly thereafter, and backed off more or less all the stated plans of shifting USA policy in Syria toward a focus on ISIS, which culminated last week in the U.S. attacking the Syrian government outright.

Putin's comments come during a major diplomatic rift with the United States over a gas attack last week that killed 89 people in Syria's Idlib province.

Not long before Trump spoke, Russian Federation vetoed a Western-backed United Nations resolution that would have condemned the chemical weapons attack and demanded a speedy investigation. "I suggest you look at this vote very carefully and heed this warning", she added.

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov told the council before the vote that a resolution was unnecessary, and the draft put forward by the Western powers pre-judged that the Syrian government was responsible for the April 4 attack on Khan Sheikhoun in which almost 90 people died. We have to find ways to live with them and to try and avoid a new Cold War, a new arms race, Stoltenberg said. "This means that they do not want success in the peace process", Muallem said during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. In response, Lavrov gave what amounted to a long lecture on what he described as an extensive list of USA efforts to achieve "regime change" around the world, from Serbia to Iraq to Libya.

Stoltenberg said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and its member countries need to find ways to talk with Russian Federation.

"He stressed that Russian Federation is in a position to use its influence over the Assad regime to ensure it is never again necessary for the act", Toner said.

This is the eighth time during Syria's six year civil war that Moscow has used its veto power on the Security Council to shield Assad's government.

During the 2016 United States presidential election campaign, Trump had frequently called for warmer ties with Putin.

Tillerson meets Putin amid "low point" in US-Russia tiesThe U.S. said relations with Russia are at a 'low point, ' but both countries said they are willing to improve ties.

But that one would have condemned the US missile strikes ordered by President Donald Trump in response to the chemical attack. He said the Russian hope was that Putin's message would be passed on to U.S. President Donald Trump. That runs counter to claims by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that attacks using chlorine in 2014 and 2015. But any expectations of an easy rapport have crashed into reality as the two countries trade escalating accusations over what happened last week in rebel-held territory in northern Syria. Tillerson's mission sees the Trump administration taking on the traditional US role as spokesman for a unified Western position.

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