Dmitry Korotayev | Kommersant | Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left) shakes hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (right) during their talks on April 12, 2017 in Moscow, Russia.

The escalation of words marks a significant shift in U.S.-Russia relations. Donald Trump’s election raised expectations that he could strengthen the relationship, but that seems now hard to achieve in the wake of the attack on Syria. U.S. officials have declared that Russia was complicit in the chemical attack and have urged Moscow to realign with the West and break ties with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“As a whole, the administration’s stance with regards to Syria remains a mystery. Inconsistency is what comes to mind first of all,” Ryabkov added.

Tillerson told reporters that Wednesday’s meeting aimed at clarifying the positions of the U.S. and Russia when it comes to the six-year war in Syrian. Tillerson could also meet with Russia President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, Reuters reported, citing a Kremlin spokesperson.

In a TV interview that aired Wednesday, Putin said the relationship with the United States has deteriorated since Trump took office.

“One could say that the level of trust on a working level, especially on the military level, has not improved, but rather has deteriorated,” Putin said, according to translated remarks by the Kremlin.

Putin added that Syria had given up its chemical weapons stocks, Reuters also reported.



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