Wednesday 12 April 2017

G7 Rejects Sanctions On Russia


G7 nations have rejected a call by Britain for sanctions against Russia in the wake of a deadly chemical attack they say was carried out by Moscow's ally, Syria.

Italy's foreign minister said the group did not want to back Russia into a corner and preferred dialogue, reports the BBC.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is now heading from the G7 meeting in Italy to talks in Moscow.

He insisted Syria's president could not play a part in the country's future.

Tillerson will meet Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow but it is unclear whether he will hold talks with President Vladimir Putin.

On Tuesday, Putin called for the UN to hold an independent investigation into the chemical attack on the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun that left 89 people dead.

He also said he had heard that “fake chemical attacks” were being prepared that could be used to put blame on the Syrian government.

Syria denied carrying out the chemical attack but the US then carried out a retaliatory strike, firing 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had proposed sanctions against Syrian and Russian military figures over the chemical attack.

BBC diplomatic correspondent James Robbins says Johnson had hoped for some form of explicit support, but the final G7 communique does not mention sanctions.

Russia reacted angrily to last week's US missile strike on Syria, condemning it as an “act of aggression”. Yet Moscow is happy to host the US secretary of state. He'll meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and a meeting with President Putin cannot be ruled out.



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