US completely unwilling to cooperate on Syria & consider other interests – Kremlin
Actions of the US in Syria demonstrate a “complete unwillingness” to cooperate and take into account “interests and concerns” of the other actors in the region, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
“The US side thus has demonstrated a complete unwillingness to somehow cooperate on Syria and take into account each others' interests and concerns,” Peskov said, while commenting on the suspension of the Memorandum on Air Safety in the aftermath of the US missile strike on Syrian military airfield overnight on Thursday.
The memorandum has lost its merit after the incident, Peskov said.
While the technical means to exchange military data with the US remained, there would be no further info swap, he added.
The Memorandum of Understanding on Flight Safety was signed in October 2015, after Russia came to Syria to fight international terrorism at the invitation of the country’s government. It was designed to prevent possible incidents between the Russian and US Air Forces operating independently in the region.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled to visit Moscow on April 11-12, although President Vladimir Putin does not have a meeting planned with him “so far,” according to Peskov. The only confirmed official contact with the Russian leadership on Tillerson’s agenda is with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“So far there is no meeting with Tillerson on the president’s schedule,” Peskov told reporters in a phone call. “We never announce such meetings, whether they will take place or not – we won’t announce it.”
The Kremlin spokesman assured reporters though that if there is such a plan, media would be “properly notified.”
While Tillerson’s visit is expected to take place as planned, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson cancelled his own trip to Russia, citing the need to “talk with G7 counterparts” over “developments in Syria.” The Russian Foreign Ministry called the explanation for the last-minute cancellation “absurd.”
Washington has been sending mixed messages over the past few days following the missile strike. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the US envoy to the UN, Nikki Hayley, have lately expressed somewhat contradictory views on Syria. While both of them named the fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) a “top priority,” Tillerson said that the future of Syria and President Bashar Assad should be decided by the country’s people. Hayley, however, said that ousting Assad is still among the top priorities for Washington.