US, Russia relations couldn't get anymore confusing

Many watching the Trump-Russia storyline online agreed.

Tillerson's stance changed after the attack on Idlib province, and he said Thursday the United States is part of an global coalition to remove Assad via a political process.

Mr Putin, speaking on Mir television, also said trust had "deteriorated" between the USA and Russian Federation under the Trump presidency. Russian Federation has never publicly acknowledged any such attack by Assad's forces and has tried for the past 18 months to help him expand his authority in Syria. "We are ready to help bring this conflict to an end", US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Security Council as it met.

In opening remarks in front of reporters, Mr Lavrov greeted Mr Tillerson with unusually icy remarks, denouncing the missile strike on Syria as illegal and accusing Washington of behaving unpredictably.

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. "The U.S. would have to take the field itself, and risk direct confrontation with the Russians and Iranians-highly unlikely", he said.

"We have seen very alarming actions recently with an unlawful attack against Syria", Lavrov said, referring to the 59 Tomahawk missiles Trump launched at an air base to punish Assad for using chemical weapons. "There is a low level of trust between our two countries".

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Moscow initially said Putin would not meet with Tillerson, but later relented.

In another possible setback to a thaw with Moscow, Trump said on Wednesday that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is not obsolete, as he had declared during the election campaign past year.

On Wednesday, standing with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump echoed that sentiment. But he said it was an open question where relations go from here.

"I have personally reviewed the intelligence, and there is no doubt the Syrian regime is responsible for the decision to attack and for the attack itself", Defense Secretary James Mattis said Tuesday.

Trump's relations with Russian Federation are also a domestic issue, as USA intelligence agencies have accused Moscow of using computer hacking to intervene in the election to help Trump win. "We'll see what happens".

"We did discuss at length the future role for Assad, whether it be in a future political process or not", Tillerson said.

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"Are we insisting on it? No".

"It'd be a fantastic thing if we got along with Putin and if we got along with Russia", Trump said.

United Nations Security Council members show hands for a vote on a resolution condemning Syria's use of chemical weapons at U.N. headquarters on Wednesday, April 5, 2017.

Syria's government has denied responsibility for the gas attack in a rebel-held area of northern Syria that killed at least 87 people, many of them children.

The United States, Britain and France have pointed a finger at the Syrian government saying their experts have found that nerve agents were used in the April 4 attack. Washington warned Moscow, and Russian troops at the base were not hit. Russian Federation has alleged that the victims were killed by toxic agents released from a rebel chemical arsenal and warned against putting the blame on Damascus until an independent inquiry has been conducted.

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