US ambassador: Tillerson counting on meeting Putin soon

The U.S. ambassador to Russia says that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is counting on meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin during an upcoming visit to Moscow.

John Teft said Tillerson would likely meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Putin "in the near future," according to Russian news agency Tass. It said Teft commented during a lecture in the northern Russian city of Arkhangelsk.

U.S. media reports suggest that Tillerson is likely to visit Russia in April but a date has yet to be announced.

The Kremlin has repeatedly refused to comment on the visit and declined to say whether Putin would meet Tillerson.

Tillerson will attend a major NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Friday.