In a period the US Secretary of State has labelled a ‘low point’ in relations, Rex Tillerson travelled to Moscow for talks with the both Russian foreign minister and president.
He received an unusually frosty reception in the capital following a disagreement over responsibility for the suspected chemical attack in Syria last week.
Russia’s Serguei Lavrov said Moscow backed an investigation into the attack on its ally, adding:
“We saw that our American colleagues are ready to support such an investigation and we expect that the powers that the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have will be used immediately.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin says enemies of the Syrian regime are responsible for the attack in which 89 people died, including children.
However, the US blames Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“This is just the latest in a series of the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. (...) Clearly, our view is that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end, and they have again brought this on themselves with their conduct of the war of these past few years,” said Tillerson.
Both he and Lavrov said progress was made during the day of discussions and announced that a working group would be set up to examine the poor state of US-Russian ties.