Tillerson says US-Russia relations at ‘low point,’ calls for improving ties after Putin meeting
(Please see also, The Real Winner in the Russia Investigations Is Iran.
The best interests of the United States would be to woo Russia away from these maniacs — and we very well could have. We are, at least for now, still the world’s biggest GNP and control a great deal of the global economy. Greedy despots like Putin know that as well as anybody. They may not feel good about it, but to some degree they might play with us. And if they wanted to enough, if we sweetened the pot enough, they’d even disengage from the mullahs, leaving them with no ally of value, no substantial defender.
Trump — or some people close to him — may have had this in mind when they started speaking with the Russians way back in the Paleolithic Era of the transition days. They’d have been fools not to. They wouldn’t have been doing their duty to the United States or to the civilized world for that matter.
Now Trump or his people can no longer even consider making such inroads. They would be accused immediately of treason or something close. The possibility of separating the Russians from Iran has been destroyed by these investigations — first by the House, now by the Senate, and always by the media.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a hastily arranged meeting in Moscow late Wednesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin as he worked to ease tensions with the country over Syria and other global crises – even as he and President Trump, from afar, continued to pressure Putin over his alliance with Bashar Assad.
Tillerson, speaking frankly during a joint press conference in Moscow alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, said U.S.-Russia relations have hit a “low point,” while stressing the need to improve ties.
“There is a low level of trust between our two countries. The world’s two foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship,” Tillerson said.
Those tensions have mounted since Trump ordered a missile strike on an airbase controlled by the Assad government last week, in response to a chemical weapons attack.
Tillerson and Lavrov spoke after Tillerson met in private with Putin at the Kremlin for nearly two hours.
Tillerson, the first Trump Cabinet official to visit Russia, originally was only slated to meet with Lavrov but spoke with Putin after first sitting down with his Russian counterpart.
Tillerson traveled to Moscow just days after the Trump administration launched missile strikes on an airbase in Syria, angering Bashar al-Assad’s allies in Moscow. The strike was in response to a chemical weapons attack earlier last week.
Tillerson ratcheted up his rhetoric en route to Moscow earlier this week, saying “the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end” and challenging Russia to reconsider its alliance with the government in Damascus.
Trump also told Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo that Putin is backing “an evil person” in Syria, and it’s “very bad for Russia.”
At the same time, Trump made clear he’s pushing for peace in Syria. He said, “we’re not going into Syria,” but said pressure will be on Russia to ensure peace.
“If Russia didn’t go in and back this animal, you wouldn’t have a problem right now,” he said.
Earlier Wednesday, during a forum at The Newseum in Washington, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked about what could be on the table at a Putin-Tillerson meeting. He spoke to their common interests.
“I think there is a shared interest in defeating ISIS in the region that we have a national security concern that should align with their national security concern,” he said.
Spicer had tough words for Russia’s alliance with Assad, however.
“Russia right now is an island,” he said. “It’s Russia, North Korea and Iran … Russia is among that group the only non-failed state.” He said Russia is “isolating” itself by standing by Assad.Explore posts in the same categories: Assad, Missile strike in Syria, Putin and Assad, Putin and Trump, Rex Tillerson, Syria - chemical weapons, US - Russia relations