Donald Trump has described US relations with Russia as at “an all-time low” over the Syria crisis but reversed his position on Nato, saying the alliance was “no longer obsolete”.
The US president said that “right now we’re not getting along with Russia at all” after Rex Tillerson, his secretary of state, had attempted to persuade Vladimir Putin to distance himself from Bashar al-Assad.
Mr Trump has repeatedly questioned the purpose of Nato, but, amid rising tensions with Russia, he called it a “bulwark of international peace and security” yesterday and hailed its role in the fight against terrorism.
He said “it would be a fantastic thing” if the US, Nato and Russia got along better but warned that “it may be just the opposite”.
Mr Tillerson held a two-hour meeting with Mr Putin earlier yesterday in an attempt to to persuade the Russian president to abandon his unwavering support for Mr Assad following last week’s chemical weapons attack.
However, on Wednesday night Russia vetoed a UN resolution condemning the sarin gas attack in Idlib province. Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, said he was “dismayed” by the decision and that it put Russia “on the wrong side of the argument”.