Syria war: Anger after Russian Federation vetoes resolution at UN

Russia's top foreign minister said Wednesday that his country will consider reopening a phone line with the United States used to avoid aircraft collisions over Syria only if the US agrees to stop attacking Syrian government targets.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has dismissed reports that last week's devastating chemical attack was carried out by his regime as '100% fabrication'. Russia, a top Assad backer, says that the Syrian leader is being unfairly accused of executing the attack. Lavrov said the meeting between Tillerson and Putin lasted for over two hours.

"We both have agreed our lines of communication shall always remain open", Tillerson said. "They were there", he said. Russian Federation hasn't seen "a single fact, or even a hint of fact" to back up the U.S. government's allegations of meddling in the elections, Lavrov said. "They were there", Trump said of the Russians during a 30-minute news conference at the White House.

It was the eighth time during Syria's six-year-old civil war that Russian Federation has vetoed a proposed Security Council resolution on Syria, CNN reported.

Trump said it was possible but "probably unlikely" that Russian Federation did not know about the chemical weapons attack in advance.

Lavrov, echoing past denials of any Russian hacking or other interference in the electoral process, said Moscow hasn't seen "a single fact, or even a hint at facts" proving the US allegations of Russian interference. "They fabricated the whole story in order to have a pretext for the attack", added Assad, who has been in power for 17 years.

Despite the bickering in the Kremlin press conference, Trump said of Tillerson's Moscow meetings, 'I'm hearing things went pretty well, maybe better than anticipated. As recently as March 30, his administration's stance, reinforced in individual statements by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Nikki Haley, ambassador to the United Nations, was not to intervene in Syria.

Trump said during an interview on Fox Business Network this week that "Putin is backing a person that's truly an evil person" in his relationship with Assad.

Russian Federation has seen no proof that Syria carried out the chemical-weapons attack and wants a United Nations investigation to establish the facts, said Lavrov.

US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, called on Moscow to stop protecting Assad, and said the US wants to work with Russian Federation toward a political solution for Syria.

US President Donald Trump offered an olive branch to Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, even as Washington and Moscow clashed over Russia's alleged US election interference and Syria's brutal conflict.

While the most immediate U.S.

"It would be wonderful. if North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and our country could get along with Russia", Trump said amid a deepening war of words with the Kremlin.

Following the meeting with Putin and earlier talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Tillerson told reporters that bilateral ties are "at a low point".

Putin, whom USA intelligence agencies say tried to help Trump get elected, insisted that relations with the US had only gone downhill since Trump took office in January.

  • Joey Payne