U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks in Washington, U.S. on March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
Reuters: Tillerson plans to skip NATO meeting, visit Russia in April - sources
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to skip a meeting with NATO foreign ministers next month in order to stay home for a visit by China's president and will go to Russia later in April, U.S. officials said on Monday, disclosing an itinerary that allies may see as giving Moscow priority over them.
Tillerson intends to miss what would have been his first meeting of the 28 NATO allies on April 5-6 in Brussels so that he can attend President Donald Trump's expected April 6-7 talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, four current and former U.S. officials said.
Skipping the NATO meeting and visiting Moscow could risk feeding a perception that Trump may be putting U.S. dealings with big powers first, while leaving waiting those smaller nations that depend on Washington for security, two former U.S. officials said.
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Update #1: Tillerson to skip NATO meet, visit Russia: report (The Hill)
Update #2: Rex Tillerson To Skip NATO Meeting, Will Visit Russia Instead (Zero Hedge)
WNU Editor: Prioritising China and Russia over NATO .... I suspect that this is not what German Chancellor Merkel wants to hear after her trip to Washington last week, nor do other European allies .... Tillerson no-show at NATO renews European disquiet about Trump (Reuters).