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Russian President Vladimir Putin watches the opening ceremony of natural gas pipeline from Russia to Crimea during a live video link from the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Trump, Tillerson and Putin agree on one thing: The US and Russia are 'not getting along'


UPDATE 4:25 p.m. EST:  Trump said relations with Russia are at an "all-time low."

UPDATE 3:49 p.m. EST:  

Russia vetoed the U.N. Security Council's resolution on Syria.

The resolution, authored by the U.S., U.K. and France, would have condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria and required Bashar al-Assad's government to cooperate with investigators. 

It marks the eighth time Russia has vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria, CNN reported.

UPDATE 2:24 p.m. EST:

Tillerson said he had no knowledge that Russia was involved in the chemical weapon attack in Syria. Yesterday he said Russia was either lax in its commitment to prevent Syria from using chemical weapons or "incompetent."

Lavrov condemned the Obama administration's tactics in Syria, calling Obama's coalition "cobbled together" and implying the U.S.' tactics spared Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusrat. 

UPDATE 2:05 p.m. EST: Tillerson said it was possible that Syria's Bashar al-Assad could face war crime charges for his actions in Syria's civil war.

UPDATE 1:59 p.m. EST:

After meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged that U.S.-Russia relations were "at a low point" and acknowledged the need for the leading nuclear powers to be on good terms.

"In some areas, we share a common view," Tillerson said regarding Syria. However, he acknowledged the nations' differences and announced the formation of a "working group" to improve U.S.-Russian relations. 

Lavrov said an "objective" and "honest"  investigation needed to be conducted regarding the Syrian chemical attacks, but Russia and the U.S. needed to deal with "irritants" in their relationship.

Lavrov said both nations agreed a diplomatic solution was necessary in North Korea.

Some observers criticized Tillerson for abandoning the press pool that followed him.

UPDATE 11:30 a.m. EST:  Putin is meeting with Tillerson.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said ties between his nation and the U.S. have gotten worse since President Trump took office.

Putin's comments came as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with Russian officials including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. A senior Russian official criticized the "primitiveness and loutishness" of U.S. rhetoric regarding Russia's ties to Syria, Reuters reported.

One could say that the level of trust on a working level, especially on the military level, has not improved, but rather has deteriorated.
Vladimir Putin

While the U.S. maintains that the Syrian government launched a chemical weapon attack in Idlib province last week, Putin insists either Syrian air strikes hit a rebel-run chemical weapon facility or the incident was a setup designed to discredit the Syrian government, with which Russia is aligned.

Trump, Tillerson and Putin agree on one thing: The US and Russia are 'not getting along'

WATCH | Here's a clip from the meeting between Tillerson and Lavrov.

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Russia's messages to the U.S. have been heated in the wake of U.S. criticism. Lavrov told Tillerson Wednesday the U.S. air strikes on a Syrian air base "must not be repeated," Russian state media reported. The strikes have been described by the Trump administration as retaliation for the chemical attack.

Lavrov called the attacks "alarming" and "unlawful," claiming the U.S. did not provide evidence that Syria used chemical weapons.

Tillerson said Tuesday Russia was either lax or "incompetent" in handling Syria.

U.S. officials have said Russia had advance knowledge of Syria's chemical weapons attack. 

The official said a Russian-operated drone flew over a hospital as victims of the attack were being rushed inside for treatment.

A few hours after the drone left, a Russian-made fighter jet reportedly bombed the hospital. American officials said this may have been an attempt to cover up the fact that chemical weapons were used.

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