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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson enter a hall during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, April 12, 2017

    Tillerson Failed to Defuse Dangerous US-Russia Tensions in Moscow Visit

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    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson failed to ameliorate dangerous tensions between Russia and the United States during his visit to Moscow, US analysts told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Relations between the United States and Russia remain at historically bad and dangerous levels and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson failed on his trip to Moscow this week to improve them.

    "The warmongering against Russia continues over here by elements of the Trump administration and the mainstream media: I have not seen it this bad in my political lifetime," University of Illinois Professor of International Law Francis Boyle said on Thursday.

    Tillerson had failed to defuse Russian concerns over US President Donald Trump’s unilateral cruise missile bombardment of a Syrian military airfield a week ago, Boyle observed.

    "The entire situation is volatile right now… The situation is still extremely dangerous. Anything could go wrong. So far it does not appear that Tillerson’s trip did enough to ameliorate the situation," he warned.

    Trump’s attack on April 6 was clearly a violation of international law and the United Nations Charter as well as the War Powers Clause of the United States Constitution, Boyle pointed out.

    It remained "very hard to assess what went on over in Moscow: Like reading tea leaves. The jihadi terrorists could easily stage another bogus chemical weapons attack [in Syria]," he warned.

    Anti-Russian prejudice remained strong in the US government and media, Boyle cautioned.

    US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s "invective against Russia at the Security Council is deplorable. The list can go on," he said.

    Boyle recommended that President Donald Trump needed to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin as soon as possible to reset the entire tone of US-Russian relations.

    "What is called for is a summit meeting between Putin and Trump to try to calm the situation down," he concluded.

    University of Rhode Island Professor of Peace Studies and Non-Violence Nicolai Petro agreed with Boyle's assessment, but warned that in the current political climate such a summit was extremely unlikely.

    "I would not hold my breath," he said.

    Petro said the outcome of Tillerson’s talks in Moscow with Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was better than many had expected, but only because expectations for them had been set so low.

    "You could say so, although since the tensions themselves have been manufactured, this sets the bar very low indeed," he said.

    Russia and the United States remained far apart on the future they saw for Syria, Petro observed.

    "The US approach seems to be the same as in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya — prop up ‘good guys’ for a while then declare victory and go home. The Russian approach is that such efforts to manipulate local politics always backfire and encourage… terrorism. A meeting of the minds is unlikely," he stated.

    Petro also expressed the hope that the new diplomatic procedures set up during Tillerson’s visit could help create a more positive dynamic between the two governments.


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