Russian President Vladimir Putin has no plans to meet U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his visit to Moscow, Presidential Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Russia's TASS news agency on Monday.
“We have not announced any meetings and there is no meeting with Tillerson in the presidential planner as of yet,” Peskov said. “We never announce meetings like that, whether they happen or not.”
Rex Tillerson arrives in Moscow to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday, April 12. The pair are set to discuss a number of security issues, including Syria, Ukraine and North Korea, as well as U.S.-Russia relations.
Ties between Moscow and Washington remain strained following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to order a military strike against an airbase controlled by Kremlin ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad. The strike was a reaction to a chemical weapons attack on civilians in early April, which the U.S. government has blamed on Assad’s forces.
Russian officials called the strike and “act of aggression against a sovereign nation,” and a “blatant violation of the international law”.
The first meeting between Lavrov and Tillerson took place at the G20 summit in the German city of Bonn this February. Russia’s chief diplomat called the meeting “productive,” despite little in the way of major diplomatic breakthroughs.