Trump and Putin to Speak by Phone for First Time Since U.S. Strike in Syria

Last call between leaders was three days before strike on Syrian air base, which caused a diplomatic crisis between U.S. and Russia

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci and Mikhail Klimentyev/AP

U.S. President Donald Trump will speak on the phone with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday afternoon, the White House said on Monday, the leaders' first call since the United States bombed an air base in Syria from which the Russia-supported Assad regime launched chemical weapons attacks.

No further details on the call were provided as of Monday night.

The last time the two leaders spoke was in early April, when Trump called Putin to offer condolences for the terror attack that took place in St. Petersburg on April 4th, where 15 people died. The American attack in Syria, which led to a crisis between the two countries, happened just three days afterwards.

During a visit to Moscow, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that U.S.-Russian relations have hit a "low point." Tillerson, who made the trip after the U.S. attack in Syria, said that the ties are marked by serious distrust. He also reiterated Washington's position that a chemical attack in the Syrian province of Idlib, which killed about 70 people in April, was planned, directed and executed by Syrian government forces, a claim that has been disputed by Russia. 

In Moscow, Tillerson met with Putin, a meeting which was described as "fairly constructive" by the Russian president's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov. He said general agreement was reached at the meeting of the need to keep open lines of communication between Moscow and Washington. Peskov also said Putin had given Tillerson his views on the situation in Syria, and how it was likely to develop. 

At the same time, Trump said that "things will work out fine" between the two countries. "Things will work out fine between the U.S.A. and Russia. At the right time everyone will come to their senses & there will be lasting peace!" Trump said in a note on Twitter.