Skip to Content

Washington

US Secretary of State Tillerson to skip NATO meeting and visit Russia instead

While NATO is continuing to drag its manpower to Russia's western borders, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, is heading to Russia instead.

Published: March 21, 2017, 11:20 am

    Tillerson will skip his first meeting with NATO’s foreign ministers, amid growing anger over the Trump administration’s closeness to Moscow. Tillerson, the former ExxonMobil executive, received the Friendship Award from Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2013.

    He will not attend a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in April but will travel to Russia, the US State Department has confirmed. “In April [Tillerson] will travel to a meeting of the G7 in Italy and then on to meetings in Russia,” the State Department statement confirmed.

    Reuters broke the news that Tillerson will not attend the NATO meeting, but meet instead with Chinese president Xi Jinping at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. Tillerson met with Xi last weekend in Beijing to discuss the growing threat from North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

    The US Secretary of State has already questioned the wisdom of sanctions against Russia that he said could harm American businesses. The Trump administration also recently declared that Germany “owes vast sums of money to NATO”.

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was created in 1949 to serve as a bulwark against the Soviet Union, which no longer exists and that has deprived its supporters of a raison d’etre.

    The decisions to skip the NATO meeting and to visit Moscow are therefore feeding resentment in anti-Russian US Democratic as well as Republican circles. “It feeds this narrative that somehow the Trump administration is playing footsy with Russia,” one former US official who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Guardian.

    “If reporting is accurate, Donald Trump’s Administration is making a grave error that will shake the confidence of America’s most important alliance and feed the concern that this administration simply too cozy with Vladimir Putin,” a ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement.

    “I cannot fathom why the Administration would pursue this course except to signal a change in American foreign policy that draws our country away from western democracy’s most important institutions and aligns the United States more closely with the autocratic regime in the Kremlin.”

    Another ranking member of the House intelligence committee, also expressed his outrage: “I have to hope that that story is not true. We’ve already sent a terrible message to NATO. The only message frankly that has gotten through from this administration to NATO is not that we support you, not that we value you or thank our NATO allies for coming to our assistance in Afghanistan and Iraq where NATO soldiers have stood by, fought by and died with our own troops, but rather pay up. That’s the only message we’ve delivered.”

    Unhinged Democratic Representative Jackie Speier likened Russian President Vladimir Putin to a tarantula in “the middle of a spiderweb” who is “entrapping many people to do his bidding to engage with him”.

    She also called Russia’s alleged election hacking an “act of war” despite a glaring lack of evidence.

    Meanwhile the president of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service Bruno Kahl claimed that it is Moscow who is responsible for militarisation of Europe. The Russian military threat has grown, and it cannot be regarded just as defense against the West, Kahl said recently.

    “The Russian threat has grown. Therefore, we take it very seriously. This is not only a propaganda threat, it is the return of the entire topic of conventional weapons to the agenda,” Kahl told Spiegel magazine. He added that Russia has seriously increased its presence on the western border.

    “Russia doubled its military power on the western border. This is not just Iskanders. There are many flying vehicles in the Crimean region, conventional armed forces. All this can not be regarded as a defense from the West. This should be seen as a potential threat,” Kahl said.

    But NATO has planned the deployment of no less than four multinational battalions in the Baltic states and Poland by June 2017. NATO has been steadily building its military presence in Central and Eastern Europe ever since 2014, using alleged “Russian aggression” as a pretext.

    Around 4 000 NATO troops with tanks, armored vehicles, air support and high-tech intelligence centers will be arriving in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

    Russia has repeatedly voiced its concern over the increased number of NATO troops near its borders. “The alliance is known to have deployed hundreds of military bases along the rather big perimeter around Russia. The real increase in the number of NATO troops in countries neighboring Russia through permanent rotation of contingents as well as the lack of the constructive dialogue with us urge Russia to take serious retaliatory steps,” Russia’s Ambassador to Lithuania Alexander Udaltsov said in February.

    Apart from the buildup on its borders, Moscow is also concerned by the new US ground-based missile defense system in Eastern Europe and increased presence of NATO vessels in the Black Sea.

    In February, Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed NATO for endangering international peace by trying to provoke a conflict with Moscow through its “newly-declared official mission to deter Russia”.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Americas

    FBI’s James Comey was Clinton insider

    WashingtonThe FBI director that was fired by President Trump, James Comey, was a Hillary Clinton insider. His career actually highlights the unhealthy relationship that exists between major corporations and the political elite.

    Another huge cyber attack is underway

    Another huge cyberattack is underway after last week's assault on computers worldwide, according to a global cybersecurity firm, suggesting military-grade cyberweapons are now being deployed for cyber crime.

    Kushner is a ‘massive, massive problem’ for the White House

    WashingtonThe American author of a best-selling book about the Clinton's dark secrets, believes president Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has created "a massive, massive problem " for the White House.

    Anger grows in South Korea over US deployment of THAAD

    SeongjuThe newest, the American anti-ballistic system THAAD, just went operational in South Korea, but both sides of the 38th Parallel and above the Yalu River, that is North as well as South Korea is unhappy about the president Trump's latest move and it could swing the outcome of elections in South Korea.

    White House boasts about ‘isolating Russia’ in first 100 days

    The White House has called the "isolation of Russia at the United Nations" one of President Trump's successes in his first 100 days in office.

    Battle of Berkeley: Patriots and Antifa in Weimar-style clashes

    America is increasingly resembling 1920s Germany (the so-called Weimar Republic) as physical fights erupt between pro- and anti-Trump supporters.

    Democrat globalist banker is now shaping Trump policy

    WashingtonGary Cohn, a Democrat and dyslexic former Goldman Sachs banker, is currently running the White House with president Trump's blessing, Reuters reported.

    Will China, North Korea back down after Trump’s threats?

    WashingtonDonald Trump's strategy behind the latest US belligerent moves to frighten the Chinese into abandoning North Korea might not be the greatest idea.

    Trump allowing twice as many Syrian refugees as Obama

    WashingtonDuring his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump called Syrian refugees a “great Trojan horse” but his administration has allowed them into the US in larger numbers than did President Barack Obama.

    American patriots who voted against war abandon Trump

    WashingtonStunned prominent American patriotic writers and bloggers have turned on the president in which they had put their trust.

    Go to archive