Russian Federation vetoes United Nations condemnation of Syria attack
- Author: Jack Replman Apr 21, 2017,
Apr 21, 2017, 0:36
Neither Syria nor Russian Federation used their air defense assets to try to fend off last week's US attack on the Shayrat air base, which Washington said had served as a platform for the chemical attack. It was stark evidence that the president is moving ever further from his campaign promises to establish better ties with Moscow. Moscow has accused the US of using the chemical weapons attack as a pretext for hitting the Syrian base with Tomahawk missiles.
The talks got off to a frosty start, with the Russian politician branding the American cruise missile strike "illegal" and criticising "confusing and sometimes openly contradictory ideas" from the Trump administration on the US-Russia relationship and worldwide issues. But he clearly wasn't counting on it.
"That could happen, and it may not happen", he said. "It may be just the opposite".
Safronkov said Russia's Foreign Minister asked U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during talks earlier Wednesday in Moscow to jointly request the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons "to immediately put together an independent worldwide mission" to visit Khan Sheikhoun and the air base that the U.S. attacked in retaliation.
Russian Federation accuses Washington of faking the Assad responsibility in last week's chemical attack as a pretext, the way USA officials trumped up a case for going to war in Iraq to destroy nonexistent weapons of mass destruction in 2003.
"Our big mission is getting rid of ISIS (ISIL)", Trump said.
The newly hardened view of Moscow comes as the president has tried to shake suspicions about the motives behind his campaign calls for warmer relations.
"Frankly, Putin is backing a person that's truly an evil person", Trump said, referring to Assad.
France's U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said "with this attack, the Syrian regime has plumbed new depths of horror". Russia, Assad's staunchest ally, has insisted that Assad is blameless and that it was actually the rebels responsible for the disbursed chemical weapons.
Russian Federation vetoed a Western-backed United Nations 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.
Russian Federation has argued that civilians in the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun likely died of toxic agents released from a rebel arsenal hit by a Syrian airstrike - a theory categorically rejected by the US and its allies.
The Kremlin has been anxious to restart relations with Washington that were largely frozen after the annexation of Crimea three years ago, Lucian notes. -Russian relations with the state television channel Mir before his meeting with Tillerson.
There had been speculation that Putin might snub Tillerson during the secretary of state's Moscow trip. He likened the USA response in bombing a Syrian air base to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, arguing that now just as then Washington relied on false data about chemical weapons. Tillerson said in the news conference.
The United States and Russian Federation agreed Wednesday to call for an worldwide investigation of the deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria last week that prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to launch a retaliatory missile strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blasted USA claims that it has "irrefutable evidence" of election interference.
"We have not seen a single fact, or even a hint of facts", he said. "But if I see them using gas...we have to do something". "No one showed us anything, no one said anything, although we repeatedly asked to produce the details on which these unfounded accusations lie".
Putin seems undeterred. Hours after Tillerson's warning, his office announced Russian Federation would host Syria and Iran's foreign ministers for a three-way meeting on Friday, the day after Tillerson departs. Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov opened by accusing the US of using "primitive and loutish" rhetoric and went on to emphasize that Russian Federation finds it hard to parse the specifics of USA policy. -Russian ties and identify problems. After a Syrian ceasefire negotiated by then-Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov fell apart in September, there have been no high-level contacts between the two countries until now.
But such hopes appeared optimistic as the diplomats outlined their sharply diverging views on Syria. Tillerson said Syria's government had committed more than 50 attacks using chlorine or other chemical weapons over the duration of the conflict. Five months on, the tyrant looks decidedly more insecure, now that he is in the sights of the world's most powerful military.
The civil war is separate from the USA -led effort against the Islamic State group in the north of the country.
While the most immediate U.S.
"Foreign Minister Lavrov and I agreed we would consider further proposals made about the way forward in Syria, including consulting with our allies and coalition members".
Trump and others have indeed threatened similar action. But in a Fox Business Network interview, the USA president said he wouldn't intervene militarily against Assad unless the Syrian leader resorts to using weapons of mass destruction again.
What is the US, Syria policy? Mr Tillerson said there is a "low level of trust" between the two countries, and many issues on which they disagreed.