Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

UK's Johnson says more Russian Federation sanctions possible

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss Syria with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

Putin and his government want to soothe tensions over Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and perhaps ease USA and European sanctions slapped on in response.

The UK is in talks with worldwide partners to collectively impose new sanctions on Russian Federation if it does not withdraw support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a government spokesman said. "I welcome this renewed harmony".

Before heading to Russia, Tillerson told reporters that Moscow had either failed to take seriously its obligation to rid Syria of chemical weapons, or had been incompetent.

The Trump administration has not yet defined a clear policy and Rome fears Washington may fall into step with Egypt and Russian Federation, which both support general Khalifa Haftar, a powerful figure in eastern Libya.

The Kremlin previously refused to say whether Putin would meet with Tillerson in Moscow.

And - Russian President Vladimir Putin has compared recent accusations of a chemical attack leveled at the Syrian government how the United States justified its intervention in Iraq in 2003. "Assad accountable", the White House said in a statement.

"We need to make it clear to Putin that the time to back Assad has gone", he said, warning that Putin was "damaging Russia" by supporting Assad.

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British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will press the G7 nations to draw up "very punitive sanctions" in response to last week's chemical attack in Syria, which the West has pinned on the Syrian government.

Putin said on Tuesday Russia would be urgently asking the global chemical weapons watchdog - the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - to investigate the incident.

He refused to be drawn on whether the United Kingdom would support further U.S. military action in Syria.

On Sunday Haley suggested in a CNN interview that a change of government in the war-ravaged nation was inevitable, and that removing Assad was now one of the USA priorities.

He says of the recent chemical attack: "We can not let this happen again".

And they say Russian Federation faces a choice: Align with the USA and its coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria, or stick with Assad and his other ally, Iran.

"It reminds me of the events in 2003 when USA envoys to the Security Council were demonstrating what they said were chemical weapons found in Iraq", Putin said.

RidiculedJohnson was ridiculed when he cancelled a planned visit to Moscow on Sunday, apparently in deference to his USA counterpart, Rex Tillerson, who will be in the Russian capital on Wednesday.

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