Russia Cool Over Prospects for Warmer Ties With US

US President Donald Trump talks during a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 12, 2017. The president's statement reflected that he was drifting away from his campaign promises of establishing better ties with Russian Federation.

In his first public comments on the April 6 USA missile attacks, Assad told the Agence France-Presse news agency in Damascus that neither his troops, nor his government's "firepower" has been affected.

The US envoy took aim at Russian Federation, saying it must "stop covering for Assad" and accused Iran of "dumping fuel on the flames of this war in Syria so that it can expand its own reach".

Mr Trump said the US is "not getting along with Russia at all" and the US-Russia relationship may be at at an "all-time low". But he clearly wasn't counting on it.

"Such attempts won't succeed", he said. "It may be just the opposite".

Speaking after several hours of talks with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he said Russian Federation has no intention to "shield anyone".

The two leaders were expected to discuss disagreement about whether Syrian President Bashar Assad or his opposition was responsible for a chemical weapons attack last week that led to us retaliatory cruise missiles. Trump said it was "certainly possible" though "probably unlikely".

Lavrov gave Tillerson an icy welcome, diving straight into Moscow's grievances with Washington in what would usually be warm welcoming remarks.

Tillerson insisting - Syrian leader Bashar Al- Assad's days are numbered.

Iran, Russia and Syria deny that the authorities in Damascus were behind the attack, in which more than 80 people were killed and hundreds injured.

"It's very important that there is a full investigation so that everybody knows, everybody knows, so that the entire world knows how these disgusting chemical attacks occurred and where they come from", said Delattre.

Later Wednesday, Russia blocked the U.N. Security Council's draft resolution condemning Syria and calling for it to comply with an investigation. The U.S. military has a variety of classified technical means to determine who is operating aircraft in the region.

Still, Mr Lavrov sought to put a positive spin on the talks with Mr Tillerson, saying they helped improve mutual understanding.

"Frankly Putin is backing a person that is truly an evil person".

Assad said he would permit an investigation "only if it is impartial and we are assured that impartial countries will take part", and that it won't be used for political ends.

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

Tillerson has a meeting set later Wednesday in Moscow with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. "They were there", he said. "If you have any examples I'd be glad if you could share them with me". "No one showed us anything, no one said anything, although we repeatedly asked to produce the details on which these unfounded accusations lie".

The United States has implicated the Assad government in crimes against humanity, including attacks on civilians with chemical weapons.

The palpable tension hanging over Tillerson's trip spoke to a widening chasm between the former Cold War foes. He said U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is considering the request.

The three ministers also discussed the beefing up of US forces on Jordan's border with Syria.

But such hopes appeared optimistic as the diplomats outlined their sharply diverging views on Syria.

Two days after, the United States launched 59 cruise missiles against the Shairat military base in central Syria, where from, according to the USA, airplanes carrying chemical weapons took off.

Can Russia abandon Assad?

While the most immediate U.S. On Tuesday, he blasted Russian Federation for not living up to its 2013 commitment to eliminate Assad's chemical weapons stockpile.

After meeting with Tillerson, Sergey Lavrov warned the United States 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.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claimed Thursday that the alleged chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun was a "fabrication" to justify the U.S. missile strike. "We consider it of utmost importance to prevent the risks of replay of similar action in the future". "And I think it's very bad for Russian Federation", he said in and interview with Maria Bartiromo airing today on Fox Business Network. But any such expectations have been dashed amid the war in Syria and ongoing USA investigations into Russia's alleged interference in America's U.S. presidential election. "I think it's very bad for mankind", Trump said.