Even though Russia did not retaliate after the western coalition launched air strikes to penalise the Bashar al-Assad regime of Syria after it allegedly conducted a poisonous gas attack on its own people, President Vladimir Putin has warned that if the West persisted with its attacks on the disturbed west Asian country, it could lead to a serious chaos in world affairs.
Putin said this during a telephonic talk with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on Sunday, April 15, amid signs that both the US and Russia were trying to give normalcy a chance in one of the worst phases in their relations since the Cold War ended. Iran has remained a strong supporter of Assad because of tactical and strategic reasons.
On April 14, a week after suspected poison gas attack in Douma in Damascus suburbs killed several people, the US, along with the UK and France launched the missile strikes in Syria to teach Assad a lesson.
According to a statement issued by the Kremlin, both Putin and Rouhani felt that the strikes jeopardised the chances of achieving a political solution in the complex conflict situation in Syria continuing for almost a decade now and has left at least half a million people dead.
Putin stressed that if such actions violating the UN Charter continued, it would lead to "chaos in international relations", the statement issued by the Kremlin said. The western coalition, however, maintained that the attacks were aimed at neutralising Syria's chemical weapons programme and not for toppling Assad or intervening in the conflict.
The western countries, however, called the air strikes successful while Syria and its allies described it as an "act of aggression" and also "unacceptable and lawless".
Putin's warning came in the wake of a conciliatory note by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov which said that Russia would make all efforts to better political relations with the West.
Russia's foreign affairs establishment still believed that there were people in Washington who were in favour of holding talks with Moscow about strategic stability after the attacks, the country's media reported.
US President Donald Trump had ignored his aide's warning to congratulate Putin after he won his fourth presidential term in March and even sought a summit with the latter at the White House. But then the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the UK and the Douma attacks in Syria drastically changed the equations and the two Cold War rivals found themselves at odds again.