No positive shift yet on Russia-US ties

Russian Federation imposed its veto as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said after talks in Moscow that there was a "low level of trust" between the United States and Russian Federation.

In his interview, Putin doubled down on Russia's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, repeating denials that Assad's government was to blame for the gas attack last week and adding a new theory that the attack may have been faked by Assad's enemies.

"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.

The attack was launched just a day after he accused, without a shred of evidence, President Bashar al-Assad of being behind last week's suspected chemical weapons attack, which killed over 80 people in the town of Khan Shaykhun in Idlib province.

"We saw a veto from Russian Federation today because the reality is, there's absolutely no question that Bashar al-Assad and his regime were responsible for the strikes".

Russia's hopes for a thaw in Russia-US ties following Mr Trump's election have been shattered by the congressional investigation into alleged ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia.

US President Donald Trump, speaking at an event in the White House, said he was not surprised by China's abstention.

As a refresher, these words come amid an investigation into the scope of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and what, if any, connection Trump's campaign staff and transition team may have had with the country as the meddling occurred. But he said it was an open question where relations go from here.

-Russian relations with the state television channel Mir before his meeting with Tillerson. Trump said in a note on Twitter.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov blasted U.S. claims that it has "irrefutable evidence" of election interference.

There were only a handful of issues Tillerson and Lavrov said they broadly agreed on - that the Korean peninsula should be denuclearized, Syria should be "unified and stable" after the Islamic State is defeated, and that there should be more communication between USA and Russian diplomats and militaries.

A misdirected airstrike has killed 18 allied fighters battling the Islamic State group in northern Syria, the USA military says.

Mr Tillerson repeated the U.S. administration's belief that "the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end". Russian Federation condemned the U.S. action, accusing it of breaking global law.

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 consider the invitation of OPCW inspectors to conduct the investigation as a very correct and responsible step of the Syrian government".

Years of Russian Federation and its allies, Iran and Syria, operating with virtual impunity have come to a crashing halt - because the Trump administration refuses to sit meekly by.

The vote on the Security Council resolution drafted by Britain, France and the United States was 10 in favour, Russian Federation and Bolivia against, and China, Kazakhstan and Ethiopia abstaining.

Trump's rocky relationship with his own intelligence community has seemingly come back to bite him, as the Russian government has taken to using his own words to respond to United States accusations.

  • Jack Mann