MOSCOW -- After a two-hour meeting at the Kremlin, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian President Vladimir Putin made little progress and had no clear path forward. The U.S. and Russia remain at odds over Russia’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Behind closed doors, Tillerson offered Russia the possibility of better relations with the U.S. under the condition that it stops propping up Assad. Tillerson said Russia could play a big role in shaping the next Syrian government -- as long as Assad is not leading it, CBS News’ Margaret Brennan reported.
The U.S. assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election in favor of Mr. Trump came up only briefly.
Brennan, who is in Moscow, noted that the U.S. press has no video or photos of Tillerson at the Kremlin because he left reporters behind when he left his hotel for his meeting with Putin.
The Russian president said Wednesday that U.S.-Russia relations have “degraded” since Mr. Trump took office.
“It can be said that the level of trust at the working level, especially at the military level, has not become better but most likely has degraded,” Putin said in an interview on Russian state television channel, Mir.
In an interview on Fox Business Network airing Wednesday, President Trump criticized Putin’s support of the Assad regime.
“Putin is backing a person that’s truly an evil person. And I think it’s very bad for Russia. I think it’s very bad for mankind. It’s very bad for this world,” he said.