By Andrew Osborn and Maria Tsvetkova MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said relations between Moscow and Washington were getting worse and worse, noting in an interview published on Thursday that the current U.S. administration had imposed dozens of sanctions on Russia. Putin made his gloomy assessment ahead of a G20 summit in Japan later this month at which he might meet U.S. President Donald Trump. U.S.-Russia ties remain strained by everything from Syria to Ukraine as well as allegations of Russian interference in U.S. politics, which Moscow denies. “They (our relations) are going downhill, they are getting worse and worse,” Putin told the Mir TV channel, according to a Kremlin transcript. “The current administration has approved, in my opinion, several dozen decisions on sanctions against Russia in recent years.” The Russian leader contrasted Moscow’s troubled relationship with Washington with what he described as its blossoming ties … [Read more...] about Putin says U.S.-Russia relations are getting ‘worse and worse’
Syria russia relations
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is facing harsh criticism from fellow Republicans over his decision to declare victory over the Islamic State and withdraw U.S. forces from Syria.Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a close Trump ally, said it would be an "Obama-like mistake" to remove American troops. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., called it a "grave error" and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said Trump's declaration that ISIS has been defeated is "simply not true.""An American withdrawal at this time would be a big win for ISIS, Iran, Bashar al Assad of Syria, and Russia," Graham said in a statement. "I fear it will lead to devastating consequences for our nation, the region, and throughout the world."Earlier in the day, two senior defense officials and a third person familiar with the plan told NBC News that the U.S. is preparing to withdraw a significant number of the roughly 2,000 troops that remain in Syria.Trump has been telegraphing the move for most of the past year at campaign … [Read more...] about Republicans slam Trump over plan to withdraw troops from Syria
Turkey, whose government has previously vowed to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, now claims to be open to working with Assad in Syria if he won a “democratic and credible” election, according to the Turkish foreign minister. “If it is democratic and credible [election] then everybody should consider that [working with Assad]. It has to be very credible, transparent, democratic and fair elections. At the end, Syrian people should decide who is going to rule the country after the elections,” the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) quotes Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying during a special session of the 18th Doha Forum in Qatar on Sunday.Referring to Syrians inside and outside the country, including Turkey, Cavusoglu stressed that Syrians should draft their constitution. “It [the draft process] should be conducted under the umbrella of the United Nations. It has to be an inclusive one. Everybody, the eligible … [Read more...] about Turkey Considering ‘Working with Assad’ amid Strained Relations with U.S.
World International Affairs Donald Trump Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has underscored his recent military victories by rekindling diplomatic relations with a number of foreign powers, some of which had withdrawn envoys or even actively sponsored efforts to overthrow the leader as his country descended into civil war. Assad accepted the credentials of newly appointed ambassadors Tigran Gevorgyan of Armenia and José Gregorio Biomorgi Muzattiz of Venezuela, the official Syrian Arab News Agency reported Tuesday. The two nations have been sympathetic to the Syrian government, keeping up a diplomatic presence even as it was accused of war crimes by the West and its allies in the wake of a 2011 uprising backed by the United States and regional partners such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Nevertheless, Damascus may soon see even more envoys coming to the capital. Ammar al-Assad, vice president of the Syrian Foreign Relations Committee, told Russia's state-run … [Read more...] about Has Syria’s Assad Finally Won? Despite U.S., Countries Begin Restoring Relations with Russia and Iran’s Ally
World International Affairs The U.S. has expressed hope that Israel will defy a newly installed Russian missile defense system to continue bombing targets linked to Iran in Syria. James Jeffrey, Washington's envoy to Syria, told reporters Wednesday that the U.S. was betting on Russia and Israel's strategic relationship to continue despite an international incident in September that resulted in the downing of a Russian military aircraft. The Il-20 surveillance plane was accidentally struck by allied Syrian anti-aircraft fire responding to an Israeli air raid against suspected weapons depot linked to Iran in western Syria, compelling Moscow to deliver modern S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to its Syrian partner in a rare public rift between the two. "We are concerned very much about the S-300 system being deployed to Syria. The issue is at the detail level. Who will control it? what role will it play?" Jeffrey said, according to the Associated Press, echoing the … [Read more...] about Will Israel Keep Attacking Iran in Syria? U.S. ‘Certainly’ Hopes So, But ‘Concerned’ About Russia Missiles