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Tillerson to Visit Moscow

FILE - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addresses the press before a meeting of NATO foreign ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, March 31, 2017.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Russia after attending the G7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Italy next week, the State Department announced Wednesday.

Following the conclusion of the meeting on April 11, Tillerson will travel to Moscow to meet with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss Ukraine, counterterrorism efforts, and bilateral relations.

"This trip is part of our effort to maintain direct lines of communication with senior Russian officials and to ensure U.S. views are clearly conveyed, including on next steps in Minsk implementation," Mark Toner, acting spokesperson for the State Department, said in the statement.

The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed the trip, noting that it would be the first time it would host Tillerson as the top diplomat under the Trump administration.

The statement released Wednesday echoed the issues to be discussed, including the fight against terrorism, Syria, North Korea, and others.

"The situation in Ukraine will not be overlooked, with an emphasis on the need for Kyiv to observe its obligations under the Minsk agreements," the statement read.

The G7 meeting in Lucca, Italy April 9-11 is a precursor for the G7 Leaders' Summit which President Donald Trump is slated to attend next month.