As Tillerson was carrying a message from world powers to Moscow denouncing Russian support for Syrian regime leader Assad, the White House released a report accusing Russia of trying to shield Syria's regime from blame for last week's deadly gas attack.
The Prime Minister said it was "highly likely" the attack had been carried out by the Syrian regime, which has repeatedly denied involvement.
The presidents of both countries personally waded into the day's diplomatic efforts in an apparent bid to move past some of the divisions, with Putin meeting with Tillerson for about two hours.
"If our US colleagues and some European nations believe that their version is right, they have no reason to fear the creation of such an independent group", Lavrov added. He also said Putin had agreed to reactivate a U.S.
Tillerson said the US and Russian Federation also agree that North Korea must be "de-nuclearized" and that there needs to be more communication between senior staffers from the former Cold War powers "both at a diplomatic and military level".
In retaliation, the USA bombed the Syrian air base used to launch the chemical weapons attack.
But Ward insisted it was a deliberate attack that amounted to "a direct affront to the Chemical Weapons Convention and, indeed, a direct affront to human decency, carried out by a State Party" to the OPCW, according to the text of his speech that was posted on the organization's website.
"We invited the inspectors to hold an investigation". "The worldwide community has spoken".
In the same interview, to be aired in full later Wednesday, he said several states had been "nodding like bobbleheads without analyzing the events".
The Russian government did not mince words to condemn the U.S. missile strike at a Syrian airbase and called it Washington's move "aggression against a sovereign state in violation of global law".
"Everyone [NATO members] agrees to it, accepts it and start nodding and expressing their support", he said.
Advocates call for more salary transparency on Equal Pay Day
Black women earn about 68 percent of what white men typically make while Latino women earn 62 percent compared to white men. Some participants in the Equal Pay Day wore red to symbolize how far women and minorities are "in the red" with their pay.
Tillerson's trip to Moscow represented the highest-level contact between the USA and Russian Federation since Trump took office in January.
Putin said relations had worsened.
Will Trump's often-stated desire to reset relations with Russian Federation come true or will the ties between the two countries stay at the "low" mentioned by Tillerson? "It'd be a fantastic thing if we got along with Putin and if we got along with Russian Federation, and that could happen, and it may not happen; it may be just the opposite". "That's a butcher", Donald Trump said.
Russia's coziness with Syria provides it several strategic advantages, including proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. That based on that, we can talk to Russian Federation because Russia is our neighbour.
Putin said the United States was using the same tactic it did in the lead-up to the Iraq war. "Foreign Minister Lavrov and I agreed we would consider further proposals made about the way forward in Syria, including consulting with our allies and coalition members". "The exact same thing is happening now, and their partners are nodding approvingly".
The White House had accused the Kremlin of attempting to cover up the gas attack.
In a further indication of the stark differences, Russian Federation also slammed as "unacceptable" a proposed United Nations resolution put forward by the US, Britain and France on the alleged chemical attack, and said it would veto it in its current form at a vote expected later Wednesday.
Mr Tillerson reiterated the USA view that President Assad should go.
He said this was "concluded" during Wednesday's visit of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Moscow.
"Apart from anything else, we believe it is only the regime that has the capability to take such an attack and make such an attack".
Defense Secretary James Mattis was looking into it, he said.