American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Moscow after skipping a NATO meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels April 5-6 for a meeting with President Trump in Florida with Chinese leader Xi on April 6-7. Some pundits have said that Tillerson skipping a NATO function to focus on Russia and China shows the Trump administration’s contempt for NATO.
Tillerson’s media advisor R.C. Hammond said on Twitter that Tillerson would see most of the NATO foreign ministers in Washington this week at an unrelated diplomatic conference that will focus on efforts to defeat Islamic State, reports The Daily Press.
Hammond said Tillerson also would attend a ministerial meeting of the Group of 7 bloc of industrialized democracies in Italy on April 10-11 en route to Moscow.
“We are ready to work with any partners who are interested in developing relations with Russia on an equal basis,” Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said at a news conference. “I think both President Trump and the next Secretary of State are pragmatic people. We expect that this pragmatism will be a good foundation for building mutually beneficial cooperation from the viewpoint of the Russian-US cooperation and solving international issues,” reported Russian state news agency TASS.