The officials said Tillerson would attend the G7 meeting in Sicily in May and then travel to Moscow.
In an interview, Rex Tillerson says Japan is the US's most important ally in East Asia US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is drawing attention for comments made during his current three-country Northeast Asia tour that seemed to assign differing levels of importance to Japan and South Korea. Tillerson will stay in the United States to greet the visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and also visit Russian Federation in the following week, on April 12.
"The decisions to skip the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting and to visit Moscow risked feeding a perception that Trump may be putting US dealings with big powers before those of smaller nations that depend on Washington for their security", two former USA officials told Reuters.
Tillerson said that a so-called "strategic patience" policy toward Pyongyang has ended, referring to the United States foreign policy in the past decade under which Washington had refrained from having talks with Pyongyang before its honest efforts at denuclearisation.
Tillerson has already spoken to Ukrainian representatives, the spokesman said.
"If that's the case, it's an absolute disgrace and I'll do whatever I can to stop the United States from going down this path".
A former US official echoed the view.
A U.S. official speaking on the condition of anonymity said: "It feeds this narrative that somehow the Trump administration is playing footsy with Russian Federation". "You don't want to do your early business with the world's great autocrats".
The Moscow trip comes amid an investigation by US authorities over allegations of Russian cyberattacks during the presidential campaign and meetings between Russian officials and several Trump campaign officials.