U.S. President Barack Obama says he's not sure he can trust Russia to cooperate with the United States in fighting extremists and ending the civil war in Syria but he nevertheless is exploring the possibilities.
"The U.S. remains prepared to work with Russia to try to reduce the violence and strengthen our efforts against [Islamic State militants], Al-Qaeda in Syria," Obama told reporters at the Pentagon on August 4.
"But Russia has failed to take the necessary steps. Given the deteriorating situation, it is time for Russia to show it is serious about pursuing these objectives,"
"I'm not confident that we can trust the Russians and [President] Vladimir Putin, which is why we have to test whether or not we can get an actual cessation of hostilities that includes an end to the kinds of aerial bombing and civilian death and destruction that we have seen carried out by the [Syrian] regime," Obama said.
If it does not cooperate, "Russia will have shown itself very clearly to be an irresponsible actor on the world stage that is supporting a murderous regime," he said.