On Tuesday, April 11, in Moscow for his first visit in the rank of Secretary of state should arrive Rex Tillerson. From the visit he, unlike colleagues from the UK Boris Johnson has decided not to refuse. Johnson April 8, said that after the incident with the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Khan Sheyhun does not consider it possible to visit Moscow on April 10, as planned. According to Johnson, Tillerson in Moscow will give “a clear and coordinated message to the Russians” from the countries of the “sevens”. The foreign Ministers “the seven”, which along with the United States include Canada, Japan, UK, France, Italy and Germany, 10 April held talks in the Italian Arezzo. The meeting was also attended by EU high representative for foreign policy Federica Mogherini, foreign Ministers of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan and Qatar.
The countries “the seven” has taken a collective position on the situation in Syria: the responsibility for the use of chemical weapons in Khan Sheyhun 4 April, they placed the government of President Bashar al-Assad and supported the missile strikes the U.S. airbase Shirt of the Syrian government forces committed on 7 April.
Russia and Iran should be held responsible for the incident in Khan Sheyhun, as they are the guarantors of the truce in Syria. Moscow is also a guarantor of agreements on the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, concluded in 2013, Tillerson said in an interview on 9 April. According to the Russian Ministry of defense directed a chemical attack in Khan Sheyhun and was not: the Syrian air force attacked the militants ‘ infrastructure, including ammunition depots, where artisanal way chemical weapons were manufactured, of these warehouses and leaked chemicals.
Will discuss the possibility of imposing sanctions against senior Syrian and the Russian military, who were involved in coordinating the military actions of the Syrians, explained Boris Johnson, quoted by Sky News on April 10. The statement Johnson made after talks with Tillerson. According to Johnson, Moscow should decide whether to continue to support the Assad regime or distanciruemsa from him. The UK position was supported by Canada. Russia, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should be aware of their responsibility for the actions of the Assad regime. A signal to Moscow, he said, can be sent through sanctions or other means, made Trudeau.
“Return to pseudopopular settlement in the style of reciting mantras that Assad must go, not able any closer to a political settlement in Syria,” — said to journalists on 10 April, the press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov.
“Sanctions because Syria is quite likely, if they support Germany and France, and they most likely will do so,” says Ariel Cohen, leading expert of the Atlantic Council.
Chemical attack have confused the agenda
“I hope that we will have constructive negotiations with the Russian government, with Minister Lavrov. I hope Russia will support the process that will lead to stability in Syria,” said Tillerson ABC on 9 April. Tillerson earlier visited Moscow and met not only with Ministers, but with President Putin, however, was then at another post — Chairman of the Board of Directors of the oil company Exxon Mobil.
Russian foreign Minister Lavrov meeting with Tillerson confirmed. Lavrov and Tillerson in a personal meeting will continue to deal with cases in the Syrian settlement, according to the website Russian foreign Ministry. They had met after the appointment of Tillerson Secretary of state — in Germany. Then Tillerson was terse and had put a challenge to listen to the Russian side, said one person familiar with the meeting, the diplomat.
Will there be a meeting of President Putin with us Secretary of state, is unclear. At the end of March, speaking at the Arctic forum, the Russian President did not rule out meeting with Tillerson, and one of the topics of conversation will be the fight against terror. “And if Mr. Tillerson will come — I him met several times, in my opinion, two or three times, we will certainly discuss this issue”, — Putin said on 30 March (quoted by the Kremlin website). What Putin will meet with U.S. Secretary of state, said two sources familiar with the preparations for the meeting. Press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov on 10 April told reporters that while the President’s plan the meeting with Tillerson was not listed. However, he recalled that the Kremlin usually such meetings are not announced. Previous U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry met four times, with Putin, the meetings, the Kremlin has announced.
At this stage the important fact of the arrival Tillerson, the success of the visit was the agreement on a personal meeting between presidents Putin and trump, as until you restore normal political dialogue at the highest level, the relationship to all the other can not be normal, said at a round table on the relations between the two countries, Igor Ivanov, former Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia, President of Russian international Affairs Council (RIAC).
Russia and the United States military strike on Syria on 7 April called act of aggression that violate international standards. In response, Moscow went from a Memorandum on the prevention of incidents in the skies over Syria, which was signed in 2015. In accordance with the Ministry of defence of the USA has warned Russia about the impending strike on 7 April.
“In Moscow Tillerson will speak about Syria and North Korea, however, the tone of the President of Donald trump has changed over the last ten days. He’s not talking about some “big deal” to improve relations with Russia. Most of the captains of U.S. foreign policy, including Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary of defense James Mattis, the national security adviser Herbert McMaster, I see ways to improve relations with Russia at the present time,” says Ariel Cohen.
Breakthroughs and major achievements of the visit to wait, says Sergei Rogov, head of the research Institute of the USA and Canada Russian Academy of Sciences, member of Russian Council on international Affairs. Now, according to him, the most important thing is to stop the buildup of military tensions, as missile U.S. attack on a Syrian airbase has forced many to think about the threat of a direct military confrontation between Russia and the United States. However, what is important in the course of the forthcoming visit is to negotiate the cessation of military escalation and to resume the communication of the military of Russia and the United States, agrees Andrey Zagorsky, head of Department of disarmament and conflict resolution Center for international security of IMEMO them. Yevgeny Primakov, member of RIAC.
Before the April events in Syria, officials in Moscow and Washington eagerly discussed the prospects of the meeting of the presidents. However, after the American attack on the Syrian air base and the next escalation of the conflict, the meeting is unlikely to take place before July, when both presidents will be in Hamburg at the summit, said earlier the interviewed experts.