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Report: Rex Tillerson Will Skip NATO Meeting, Visit Russia

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to skip a meeting of NATO state heads on April 6 and 7, Reuters reports. Instead, Tillerson plans to attend a Mar-a-Lago meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Days later, on April 12, Tillerson plans to visit Russia, Reuters reports. Tillerson’s reported travel plans have sparked concerns the Trump administration is prioritizing Russia over NATO allies, former U.S. officials told Reuters. On the campaign trail, Trump was skeptical of NATO, calling the alliance “obsolete” and accusing member nations of not paying their fair share. After meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, Trump falsely claimed that “Germany owes... vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!”