MOSCOW: The Kremlin on Monday said it still hopes for dialogue with Washington despite US-led strikes on Moscow´s ally Syria last week.
“We hope that, when our American colleagues solve their internal issues, some kind of communication will begin despite all the damage to (our) bilateral relations currently imposed by Washington,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had warned on Sunday that further Western attacks on Syria would bring chaos to world affairs, as Washington prepared to increase pressure on Russia with new economic sanctions.
In a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, Putin and Rouhani agreed that the Western strikes had damaged the chances of achieving a political resolution in the seven-year Syria conflict, according to a Kremlin statement.
“Vladimir Putin, in particular, stressed that if such actions committed in violation of the UN Charter continue, then it will inevitably lead to chaos in international relations,” the Kremlin statement said.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” programme that the United States would announce new economic sanctions on Monday aimed at companies “that were dealing with equipment” related to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged chemical weapons use.
On Saturday, the United States, France and Britain launched 105 missiles targeting what the Pentagon said were three chemical weapons facilities in Syria in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in Douma on April 7.
The Western countries blame Assad for the Douma attack that killed dozens of people. The Syrian government and its ally Russia have denied involvement in any such attack.
The bombings marked the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and ally Russia.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that he had convinced Trump, who previously said he wanted to take US forces out of Syria, to stay for “the long term.”
The United States, France and Britain have said the missile strikes were limited to Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities and not aimed at toppling Assad or intervening in the civil war. Macron said in an interview broadcast by BFM TV, RMC radio and Mediapart online news that he had convinced Trump to focus on the chemical weapons sites.
The White House pushed back against Macron’s comments about Trump’s intentions for US forces.
“The US mission has not changed — the president has been clear that he wants US forces to come home as quickly as possible,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.
“We are determined to completely crush ISIS [Daesh] and create the conditions that will prevent its return.” she said. “In addition we expect our regional allies and partners to take greater responsibility both militarily and financially for securing the region.”