Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is off to the lion’s den in Moscow on Wednesday (on present schedule) to tackle the Russians over their support for Syria, but hoping to de-escalate any future confrontation by persuading them to back away from Assad. He’s stopping off at the G7 summit today (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, UK, USA, Japan) and hopefully flying eastwards with international backing for further sanctions as leverage. He is talking tough in advance, saying the Russians have been “incompetent” and bear partial responsibility for the Syria CW attack. And accusing Russia of trying to influence elections in Europe using the same methods it employed in the United States.
Putin, perhaps significantly, has said little, leaving it to PM Dmytry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Levrov to make threatening noises about the consequences of any further US action in Syria. Tillerson won’t meet Putin this time round.
Tillerson, 23 March 1952, is a tough-minded Sun Aries opposition Saturn square Uranus in Cancer; with a bulldozer Mars in Scorpio square Pluto – so he’s used to high-tension and risky situations. He looks very much on edge in the final days of this month into early May; and trying to cope in an increasingly chaotic and confused situations from mid May to mid July – that may not all be to do with the Russia problem, since there’s a pile up of foreign pressures in NKorea and with Iran who are less than enchanted about the missile strike; never mind trying to keep his bearings within the Trump centrifuge in Washington. He looks to be facing major losses in Sept/Oct which can even sometimes amount to loss of job, though there’s nothing on his relationship chart (without time) with Trump suggesting any split.
Tillerson’s relationship with Medvedev is at deep-freeze all year with tr Saturn opposition the composite Sun; and not much better with Sergei Levrov – with whom there’s major aggravated disruption late this month into early May, repeating later in the year. With Putin, there’s wary suspicion but nothing too obvious till 2018.