Russia Vetoes UN Resolution on Syrian Chemical Attack

And Rex Tillerson says US-Russia relations are at a 'low point'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2017 3:41 PM CDT
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attend a news conference following their talks in Moscow Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

(Newser) – The US—along with France and the UK—had sought to pass a resolution condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria and calling for a full probe into last week's attack only to have it vetoed by Russia during a meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday, the Hill reports. Though the resolution would have provided chemical weapons investigators with access in Syria, a Russian representative to the UN said it didn't "serve a useful purpose." Here's where Russia and the US stand in the wake of President Trump's airstrike on Syria and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to Moscow:

  • After meeting with Tillerson, Sergey Lavrov warned the US against any attempt to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power, saying it could lead to chaos as it did in Iraq and Libya, the CBC reports.
  • The Russian foreign minister also wants to know the real goals of the US in Syria, calling the Trump administration's positions so far "ambiguous" and "contradictory," according to CNBC.
  • Following a "very frank" meeting with Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, Tillerson admitted the relationship between Russia and the US is at a "low point," characterized by mistrust, the Hill reports.
  • It seems Putin agrees. According to Reuters, the Russian president said his country's relationship with the US has "deteriorated" under Trump, "especially on the military level."
  • Slate looks at a couple reasons for why President Trump hasn't been nearly as pro-Russia as candidate Trump, including the possibility that he's been prevented from following pro-Russia policies by political realities in Washington, or simply that he's changed his mind on Russia.
  • Finally, the New York Times reports that Trump's rapidly changing positions on Syria, Russia, and a host of other international issues are giving leaders around the world "geopolitical whiplash."
(Read more Russia stories.)

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