The United States is hoping to persuade Russia into cutting ties with Damascus as the violence in Syria continues. Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said in Washington on Wednesday that he will travel to Moscow in the very near future to talk to Russia about its financial relationship with Syria, which includes billions of dollars in arms contracts.
The latest shipment of Russian weapons is expected to arrive in the port city of Tartus this weekend.
The United States -- along with the United Nations, European Union, Turkey, Arab League and others -- has been trying to force Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's resignation, but have been unsuccessful, largely because Assad still has support from Russia and China, both members of the Security Council.
I think we share with Russia the ultimate goal here, which is a... transition with Assad no longer remaining in power, Cohen said. There are differences in our approach and the Russian approach, and I think that's (a reason why) there may be some financial relationships between Syria and Russia. To the extent those exist, that would be of concern.