Tillerson To Meet With Russian Foreign Minister In Moscow

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled to travel to Moscow next week to meet with his counterpart in the Kremlin, the State Department announced on Wednesday.

Tillerson will meet on April 12 with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other officials to “discuss Ukraine, counterterrorism efforts, bilateral relations and other issues, including the DPRK [North Korea] and Syria,” according to a State Department release.

“This trip is part of our effort to maintain direct lines of communication with senior Russian officials and to ensure U.S. views are clearly conveyed,” the statement read.

The meeting comes amid increasing scrutiny on Russian interference in the 2016 election, including two congressional investigations and one by the FBI.

Tillerson and Lavrov met for the first time in February at the G-20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Germany, during Tillerson’s first trip abroad as secretary of state. He described that as a “productive meeting” where the two “discussed a range of issues of mutual concern.”

Reporters were ushered from the meeting room as Tillerson began his opening remarks to Lavrov, prompting the Russian foreign minister to ask: “Why did they shush them out?”

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