Russian Federation casts 8th veto to block condemnation of Assad regime gas attack

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

During his presidential election campaign, Trump said he would like the United States to have better relations with Russian Federation.

"We do think it's important that Assad's departure is done in an orderly way", he continued.

Since Trump took office in January, he has been confronted by European allies who have fear his administration will go easy on Russian Federation.

SERGEI LAVROV (through interpreter): We believe it's necessary to have an global, unbiased, frank investigation into this incident.

It was an ominous start to Tillerson's visit.

Two days after, the United States launched 59 cruise missiles against the Shairat military base in central Syria, where from, according to the U.S., airplanes carrying chemical weapons took off.

President Donald Trump says Russian President Vladimir Putin is backing an "evil person" in Syria. "I would like to think that they didn't know, but certainly they could have". "So that certain interests and constituencies that he represents feel they have been represented at the negotiating table for a political solution". Tillerson called for Assad to eventually relinquish power.

Читайте также: US Says No Agreement Reached On UN Probe

"The level of trust at the working level, especially at the military level, has not become better but most likely has degraded", Putin said in an interview broadcast Wednesday by state television channel Mir. It's unclear whether Putin will grant Tillerson a meeting. His top diplomat offered a similarly grim assessment from the other side of the globe after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

The United States said it attacked the airfield based on information it attained that the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad launched a Su-22 fighter jet on April 4 from that base armed with sarin gas.

In the latest veto, Russian Federation blocked a draft resolution backed by the United States, France and Britain to denounce the attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun and tell Assad's government to provide access for investigators and information such as flight plans. But he said Wednesday the USA doesn't have "firm information" to show that Russian forces were involved in the gas attack.

He has since made his support of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies clear, but has reiterated his stance that European members need to meet their end of the bargain if they are to continue benefiting from the military alliance. Each made it clear in no uncertain terms: Washington will no longer turn a blind eye to Syrian atrocities - or Moscow's continuing cover-up of those crimes. In Moscow, Secretary Tillerson again criticized Russia's intervention in Ukraine, which triggered Western sanctions.

Adding further fuel to rising tensions: the White House's move to circulate declassified USA intelligence accusing Moscow of aiding Assad's government in covering up a gruesome, nerve gas attack that killed more than 80 people.

"The recent chemical weapons attack carried out in Syria was planned and executed by Syrian forces, and we are confident of that", Tillerson said.

Russian Federation has never publicly acknowledged any such attack by Assad's forces, and has tried for the past 18 months to help him expand his authority in Syria.

He had said it was "obsolete because it was designed many, many years ago".

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