G7 fails to agree on sanctions against Russia

11/04/2017 - 18:03 Published in News/General

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said on Tuesday G7 ministers had failed to reach consensus over proposed sanctions against Russia for its backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Moscow should not be "pushed into a corner" over the issue, Alfano added, in comments reported by Italian news agency ANSA.

Speaking after a two-day G7 meeting in Lucca, central Italy, Alfano said U.S. missile strikes -- launched in response to last week’s chemical attack in Syria -- had offered a window of opportunity to build a new, positive situation.

However, he also said taking new measures before an investigation into the Idlib attack was finished "would be wrong".

Although the G7 foreign ministers agreed there was no solution to the Syria crisis while Assad remained in power, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's proposal to introduce new sanctions on Moscow was not accepted.

Last Friday, the U.S. fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian military air base American officials believe was used to carry out the deadly chemical attack, the Pentagon confirmed.

Last week’s chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, Idlib killed more than 100 civilians and injured around 500 others.

Russia reacted strongly to the U.S. missile strikes, describing them as an "act of aggression".

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will go to Moscow to hold talks with his counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on Wednesday.