Tillerson plans to skip NATO meeting, visit Russia in April

Nuclear mushroom

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will depart for Italy in April to meet the G7 foreign ministers, then he will visit Russian Federation, the US State Department said, TASS reported.

China's President Xi Jinping, left, meets Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 19.

After Italy he will visit Russian Federation, the US State Department said on Monday.

Tillerson said that a so-called "strategic patience" policy toward Pyongyang has ended, referring to the U.S. foreign policy in the past decade under which Washington had refrained from having talks with Pyongyang before its honest efforts at denuclearisation.

Tillerson said on Friday at a joint press conference with his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se in Seoul that all options were on the table to resolve the Korean Peninsula's nuclear issue, including diplomatic, security and economic measures, Xinhua reported.

He added saying, "You don't want to do your early business with the world's great autocrats".

"If that's the case, it's an absolute disgrace and I'll do whatever I can to stop the United States from going down this path. You want to start with the great democracies, and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is the security instrument of transatlantic group of great democracies", one source told Reuters.

Tillerson's trip to Moscow, right after he flies to Italy for a meeting of ministers from the Group of Seven countries, comes at a time when the Kremlin's alleged cyberattacks during the presidential campaign and meetings with several Trump campaign officials are being scrutinized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Congress.

Last week, he dismayed British officials by shrugging off a media report, forcefully denied by Britain, that the administration of former President Barack Obama tapped his phones during the 2016 White House race with the aid of Britain's GCHQ spy agency.

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