Wednesday’s two-hour long meeting between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian President Vladimir Putin ended with little agreement from both parties. Both men seemed to disagree with the facts surrounding the chemical warfare used on Syrian civilians as well as the interference in the U.S. elections.
During a joint news conference with Tillerson and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, Tillerson followed up the meeting saying:
“There is a low level of trust between our countries. The world’s two foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship.”
The conference revealed that issues like the Syrian Crisis, North Korea, and Ukraine were all covered in Tillerson’s meeting with Putin. The agreement reached was that both countries would develop a group designed to solve what Mr. Lavrov refers to as, “the irritants” between the United States and Russia.
According to the New York Times, Russia believes that the facts surrounding the chemical weapons attack in Syria have not been verified and rebuked the “media hysteria” around the attack. Mr. Lavrov also asked Tillerson about Trump’s description of Assad as an “animal” to which he responded, “[that characterization] is one that Assad has brought upon himself.”
Interestingly enough, Putin initially said he would not meet with Tillerson, but according to his Spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, he changed his mind saying he hoped to meet on Wednesday. It’s assumed that Putin’s decision to attend was simply one to show control over the situation.
As for the result of the Syrian talks, Tillerson gave an ultimatum essentially to the Russians on Tuesday. “I think it is clear to all of us that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end,” Tillerson said before basically demanding that Russia cuts ties with Assad.
The outcome of the conversation is still being released in different statements, but what do you think about Tillerson’s demand of Russia?
Credit: NY Times