Russia blocked a United Nation’s Security Council (UNSC) draft resolution to denounce the chemical attacks made by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad earlier this month. An explosion in St. Petersburg metro killed eleven and injured an addition forty five. According to United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, the United States will maintain the Minsk II sanctions until Crimea is returned to Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for talks with North Korea in an attempt to curb aggression. According to Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, the risk of a direct collision between the United States and Russia has significantly increased following the United States’ missile strikes in Syria. Both Russia and Iran warned the United States that they will respond with force if red lines are crossed. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated in his annual address that the Russian economy narrowly avoided catastrophe despite low global oil prices.