Putin told Tillerson why U.S.-Russian ties in bad state: Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a joint news conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella after their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia April 11, 2017. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin used a meeting with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday to give his views on why U.S.-Russian relations had reached such a low point, a Kremlin spokesman said.

The spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told a conference call with reporters on Thursday that the tone of the meeting had been “fairly constructive.” He said the Russian hope was that Putin’s message would be passed on to U.S. President Donald Trump.

He said general agreement was reached at the meeting of the need to keep open lines of communication between Moscow and Washington. Peskov also said Putin had given Tillerson his views on the situation in Syria, and how it was likely to develop.

Reporting by Christian Lowe; Editing by Alexander Winning