Prior to visiting Moscow, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to Italy for the G7 Summit where leaders from seven nations gathered to discuss international security and other issues. The issue on the table was about the tension between the United States, Russia and Syria to name three, over chemical attacks on Syrian civilians which took place April 4 and the U.S. response by attacking a Syrian airbase with 59 tomahawk cruise missiles by Friday of that week.

Many are reporting on the tense relationship forming between Russia over the attacks as Russia has always considered Syria to be their ally in fighting ISIS on the ground and who have had a presence there since 2013.

Rex Tillerson told reporters on Tuesday that Russia had “aligned themselves with an unreliable partner in Bashar al-Assad,” the Syrian president, and wondered if that long-term alliance served Russia's interest, asking that they realign with Western countries and others in the Middle East who want to resolve the crisis in Syria as one report by the International Business Times (IBT) states.

More sanctions on Russia?

Sanctions on Russia has been a subject that has haunted the Trump administration since the 2016 presidential campaign where it's believed that members of his team were colluding with Russia, to not only interfere with the election but to lift sanctions after entering office. This was revealed during a controversy that forced Gen.

Michael Flynn to step down as Trump's national security advisor after it was discovered that he spoke with Russian officials in December, specifically discussing lifting those sanctions.

During Rex Tillerson's confirmation hearing, his relationship with Russia as CEO of Exxon Mobile was brought up over their conflict with the Ukraine in 2014 when he was against sanctions after Russian president Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea.

Over the past several months into Trump's administration, the sanctions have remained but aside from Rex Tillerson's hard talk about Russia, the Trump administration has been silent about saying anything against Vladimir Putin.

U.K. and U.S. sanction efforts rejected

Much like Tillerson's statement about who Russia should side with, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that Putin had a choice to either “stick like glue to the Assad regime...

or to work with the rest of the world [for] a political solution,” as reported by IBT. Both Johnson and Tillerson reportedly worked together and finalized a plan by Monday before their meeting to put tighter sanctions on them. But the same body that forced Russia out of what was once called the G8 over their annexation of Crimea, rejected that effort.

Germany rejected it saying that sanctions would not bring peace to Syria while Italy said they were not considering it at this time. France said they would wait until their elections which currently have Marine Le Pen as a candidate whose recent trip to the Kremlin was widely reported. She has herself said that she would consider lifting sanctions on Russia if she is elected as opposed to enforcing them.

But it was also reported that British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke with President Trump about more sanctions. According to a spokesperson for Downing Street, they both agreed that now was a good time to convince Putin that an alliance with Syria was no longer strategically viable.