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US, Russian diplomats clash at UNSC
January 12, 2017, 8:58 am

US UN Ambassador Samantha Power has been highly critical of Russia's involvement in Syria [Xinhua]

US UN Ambassador Samantha Power has been highly critical of Russia’s involvement in Syria [Xinhua]

Russian and American diplomats shared bitter exchanges at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday, at a session where the Council met with new UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

In what was one of her final appearances at the UNSC, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power condemned Russia’s invasion and annexation of parts of Ukraine and its Syria policy.

Power said Russia is carrying out “a merciless military assault” in Syria.

Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin responded by attacking the Obama administration, saying it was “desperately” looking for scapegoats for its failures in Iraq, Syria and Libya.

Tensions are high between both countries, as the FBI continues to probe whether Russia may have interfered with the outcome of the U.S. elections.

In his most recent press conference, Trump said he believed the Russians were, in fact, behind the cyber-attacks that compromised the security of the Democratic National Convention during the elections.

In recent days, reports have surfaced that Russia may also have compromising information on US President-elect Donald Trump.

Both Trump and the Kremlin have denied these allegations.

The UNSC exchange comes as senior defense officials from both countries trade barbs over their commitment to destroy the Islamic State.

On Sunday, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told NBC’s Meet the Press that the Russia did nothing against the Islamic State, leaving the US to fight the extremists alone.

“They came in, they said they were going to fight ISIL, and they said they were going to help in the civil war in Syria … They haven’t done either of those things,” he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry fired back saying its forces had turned the tide of war in Syria and accused the US of doing little more than cause civilian casualties.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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