The State Department scrambled Tuesday to suggest new dates for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to attend a meeting of NATO foreign ministers after his plan to skip the annual gathering -- but travel to Russia -- came to light.
Tillerson's decision to miss his first NATO meeting but visit Russia a week later plunged his department into damage control, frustrated allies and left analysts scratching their heads at an administration that once again is rubbing Europe the wrong way and raising questions about its commitment to its Western allies.
"Seeing the Chinese, then going to Russia and avoiding NATO in the middle -- it's weird," said one NATO diplomat, referring to Tillerson's travel to China this month and the news that he would head to Moscow next. "It shows that they don't care about NATO. They are not multilateral."
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