Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
Markets | By Terence Owen

Russian Federation accuses United States of unlawful Syria raid as Tillerson visits


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.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering reopening a vital battlefield communications node between his forces and USA troops in Syria, which had been shuttered since Washington's strike on Syrian forces last week.

Follow along here for the latest updates on the Tillerson-Lavrov news conference.

Trump, meanwhile, told Fox Business News that the USA had no plans to become more deeply involved in Syria and only did so because of last week's deadly chemical weapons attack that killed dozens.

Tillerson's Russian counterpart warned the US diplomat that Moscow believes it is "fundamentally important not to let these actions happen again in the future". In a first question- asked by a Russian journalist- Tillerson made a distinction between America using "cyber tools" to disrupt North Korean weapons programs, and "when cyber tools are used to interfere with the internal decisions of countries about how their elections are decided".

At Wednesday's press conference, Tillerson said he had "discussed no change in the status of sanctions" during his meetings with Putin or Lavrov.

Lavrov said he had a "frank" talk with Tillerson.

While much of the world agrees that the chemical attack was launched by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, Russia insists that the chemical weapons belonged to the rebels.

"Frankly, Putin is backing a person that is truly an evil person", Trump said.

"I think Russian Federation has a choice to make whether they continue to support the Assad regime or whether they stand with the global community", Trudeau said Wednesday.

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Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are permanent UN Security Council members with veto powers, while the other 10 members are elected for two-year terms on a rotating basis.

But he was firm that only Assad's forces could have carried out such a strike and insisted that Russian Federation must do more to help strip the regime of its chemical arsenal.

Tillerson has accused Russian Federation of failing to uphold its agreement to locate and destroy Syria's chemical weapons.

"Our policy is consistent and it's formulated exclusively on the basis of global law and not under the impact of current opportunistic motives or false choice: 'You are with us or against us, "' Lavrov told Tillerson.

"With its veto, Russian Federation said no to accountability", said U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley is warning that the United States will not allow any further use of chemical weapons "to go unanswered".

Washington is leading a campaign of air strikes in Syria against Islamic State fighters and has backed rebels fighting against Assad during a six-year civil war, but until last week the United States had avoided directly targeting the Syrian government. Putin quickly invited the Syrian and Iranian foreign ministers to Moscow on Friday, the day after Tillerson departs.

One of Mr Lavrov's deputies was even more scathing. Turkey has said tests showed sarin gas was used. He said working groups would be established to improve U.S.

USA troops are still stationed in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states.

The Trump administration's growing willingness to confront Russian Federation directly is serving another goal: defanging the perception of coziness between Trump and Moscow. Rather, they argue, any US-Russia deal over Syria is going to have to take Moscow's interests squarely into account.

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