March 22, 2017

Tillerson plan to skip NATO, visit Russia puts allies on edge

By Julianne Smith

Source: CNN

Journalist(s) Nicole Gaouette, Michelle Kosinski, Elise Labott

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."

Read the full article at CNN.

  • Julianne Smith

    Senior Fellow and Director, Transatlantic Security Program

    Julianne (“Julie”) Smith is Senior Fellow and Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. Ms. Smith comes to CNAS while serving ...