The sharp deterioration in relations between Russia and the United States has not prevented them from continuing their cooperation on issues such as the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, the holding of the P5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) negotiations with Iran or the preservation of stability in Afghanistan. Disagreements over the Syrian crisis, however, are clearly showing signs of worsening. Russian analysts fear that, once the process of removal of the Syrian chemical arsenal is concluded, the United States — which has not renounced the idea of overthrowing the regime in Syria — may revert to the plan of a military strike against the country.
It's precisely this plan that Moscow has seen in the recent UN Security Council draft resolution, which it vetoed, together with China. Speaking on May 23 at the conference on international security — held in Moscow by Russia’s Ministry of Defense and in which I participated as part of a group of Russian and foreign experts — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, "Just yesterday, our Western partners in the UN Security Council put to the vote a draft resolution that, with reference to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, suggested that the whole situation come under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. In fact, this would be the first step to justify external intervention: there is no doubt about that. Knowing full well how fraught with danger that is, Russia and China vetoed the resolution, which didn’t pass."