The US secretary of state, John Kerry, speaks in New York last month. Photograph: Jason DeCrow/ AP
The United States is suspending participated in bilateral channels with Russia that were established to sustain the cessation of hostilities. This is not a decision that was taken softly, the state department spokesman, John Kirby, said, referring to the truce agreed by the US and Russia on 9 September which collapsed in less than a week, after Bashar al-Assads government forces-out declared they were no longer bound by it.
Kirby said Russia had failed to live up to its own commitments and failed to rein in its friend, Assads regime in Damascus.
Rather, Russia and the Syrian regime have chosen to pursue a military course, inconsistent with the cessation of hostilities, as demonstrated by their intensified attacks against civilian areas, targeting of critical infrastructure such as hospitals, and preventing humanitarian aid from reaching civilians in need, Kirby added, and singled out a 19 September attack on a UN aid convoy to a rebel-held region in the Aleppo countryside, in which British and US officials have alleged Russian aircraft took part.
Under the 9 September truce deal, Russian and US envoys in Geneva would have coordinated implementation. The American envoys have now been recalled. The US also declared it was calling back military officials who had been used in order to take part in a joint implementation centre. If the ceasefire had lasted a week, the US-Russian centre would have schemed and coordinated an air campaign targeting Isis and JFS, which both countries agree are terrorist groups.
However, Kirby said that military coordination with Russia would continue, to ensure the safety of our respective military personnel and enable the fight against Daesh[ Isis ].
Before the state department proclamation on Monday, a Russian deputy foreign minister, Gennady Gatilov, said even those military exchanges had dried up.
All bilateral relations between the military have been stopped of late, there has been no exchange of information, Gatilov said.
Moscow has blamed US-backed Syrian opposition groups for failing to separate themselves from JFS on frontlines and for flouting the truce with attacks on Syrian army positions.
France circulated a draft security council resolution expressing outrage at the bombing of the 275,000 -strong population of eastern Aleppo and calling for a restoration of the ceasefire including an end to all aerial bombardments as well as the provision of immediate, safe and unhindered humanitarian access, according to the draft text considered by the Guardian.
Russia has agreed to consider the resolution but tells it has reservations about parts of it. Western envoys say they expect a very tough battle over the resolution but argue the alternative is security council silence on the horrors of Syria.
The French diplomat to the UN, Franois Delattre, said: We of course dont give up, you will not be surprised. We considered that this is our responsibility to do utterly everything we can, everything humanly possible, to try to unite the security council behind our efforts to end the martyrdom in Aleppo.
Also on Monday, Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was pulling out of a 2000 arms control deal with the US under which both countries were supposed to reduce their stocks of weapons-grade plutonium. Putin had complained earlier this year that the US had not been keeping its end of the bargain, after run fell behind on a plant that had been designed to convert US plutonium to fuel for nuclear power stations. However, announcing his decision yesterday, the Kremlin blamed unfriendly acts by the US.
As conditions for returning to the treaty, Moscow said the US would have to lift sanctions imposed on Russia for its intervention in Ukraine, pay compensation for those sanctions, and to reduce US troop presence in eastern Europe to its level in 2000.