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US Secretary of State Tillerson to visit Russia April 11-12 –Moscow

MOSCOW, Russia – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will make his first visit to Moscow next week, Russia's foreign ministry said on Wednesday, April 5, as the Kremlin looks to improve ties with Donald Trump's administration.

The ministry said the visit on April 11-12 would include talks with counterpart Sergei Lavrov covering international security, including the fight against Islamic State and conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

"We positively rate the stated aim of the new leadership in the US to change the situation for the better, but we think we should judge from real actions," a statement said. 

The State Department confirmed the visit and said that Tillerson will discuss "Ukraine, counterterrorism efforts, bilateral relations and other issues, including the DPRK (North Korea) and Syria."

Tillerson's visit comes as contacts with Russia remain a highly sensitive issue for Trump's administration, with law enforcement agencies and lawmakers probing alleged ties between his campaign and the Kremlin. 

Relations between Moscow and Washington plummeted to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War after Moscow's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Moscow is keen to see the US drop punishing economic sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine and join forces in Syria. – Rappler.com