As Tillerson Visits Moscow, Trump Calls Assad an 'Animal'

The tweet stands in stark contrast to the message he delivered from the East Room of the White House on Wednesday afternoon.

"We have no firm information to indicate there was any involvement by Russia, Russian forces, into this attack", Tillerson said, The Washington Post reported.

Trump had frequently called during the 2016 presidential-election campaign for warmer ties with Putin, despite criticism from lawmakers in his own Republican Party.

Moments after the US Secretary of State and Russia's Foreign Minister ended a news conference in Moscow, Russia vetoed the latest United Nations resolution condemning the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria.

"To my colleagues from Russian Federation - you are isolating yourselves from the worldwide community every time one of Assad's planes drop another barrel bomb on civilians and every time Assad tries to starve another community to death", U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told 15-member Security Council.

"Today's vote could have been a turning point", she said. "Russian Federation now has a lot to prove", U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said.

The polarized positions were evident at the U.N. Security Council on April 12, when Russian Federation vetoed a Western-drafted resolution that would have required Syrian cooperation in an investigation into the suspected chemical attack and the condemnation of the attack.

Both Syria and Russian Federation have denied that forces loyal to the Assad regime carried out the toxic gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April. Safronkov reiterated Wednesday that an investigation can not be conducted remotely and experts must be drawn from a wide geographical basis.

The tense talks U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson held in Moscow on Wednesday didn't seem to narrow the gap. Just the opposite, Moscow's decision to suspend a vital communications link with the USA military in Syria has signaled its readiness to raise the stakes.

"There is a low level of trust between our two countries", Tillerson said.

"The world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this type of relationship", Mr Tillerson warned.

"I won't hide the fact that we have a lot of questions, taking into account the extremely ambiguous and sometimes contradictory ideas which have been expressed in Washington across the whole spectrum of bilateral and multilateral affairs", the Russian Foreign Minister said.

"The Assad government has been responsible for the vast majority of war crimes in the country". "The obstacles in the way of a reset now are more serious than you had at the outset of any other administration since the end of the Cold War".

Russian Federation on Wednesday vetoed a draft resolution submitted to the UN Security Council which demands that Damascus grant full access to UN inspectors at any military site in Syria, under the threat of military action.

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On Wednesday night, Russian Federation vetoed another UN Security Council resolution condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria and forcing Bashar al-Assad's regime to cooperate with the global investigators who have been appointed to review the Idlib attack.

China has vetoed six resolutions on Syria since the conflict began in 2011. But he clearly wasn't counting on it. Trump said it was "certainly possible" though "probably unlikely".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Trump's administration has found itself under pressure from those who "want to prevent it from curing the wounds inflicted by Barack Obama's administration and are using the Russian card in internal political struggle".

Putin denounced the USA strike and called the chemical attack a provocation aimed at blaming Assad.

"Things will work out fine between the United States of America and Russia", Trump nevertheless tweeted Thursday, as his top diplomat departed Moscow empty-handed after discussions with Putin and other Russian officials.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blasted USA claims that it has "irrefutable evidence" of election interference.

Both the Syrian government and opposition have asked for an independent investigation Safronkov said, "whereas the OPCW is doing nothing, for reasons unknown".

He also rejected American claims of certain evidence that Assad ordered the chemical attack.

Lavrov, who was co-hosting the April 12 press conference in Moscow, said progress had been made on Syria and a working group would be established to improve communication between the United States and Russia, Reuters reported.

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.

Western leaders backed the USA action, saying Assad had brought it on himself.

Lavrov said the US strike on the Syrian base has undermined peace efforts in Syria and reflected Washington's focus on ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.

The US scoops up such a large volume of communications intercepts in areas like Syria and Iraq, the material often is not processed unless there is a particular event that requires analysts to go back and look for supporting intelligence material. "I think it's wonderful that they abstained".

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