Foreign Secretary Johnson postpones Russia trip due to NATO meeting

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson speaks to reporters after chairing a United Nations Security Council meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has postponed a planned trip to Russia due to a NATO foreign ministers meeting being rescheduled, a spokesman for his office said on Monday.

Johnson was due to visit Moscow to discuss the differences between the two countries over Syria and Ukraine, in the first such visit by a British foreign secretary for five years following a deterioration in bilateral relations.

“We have unfortunately had to postpone the foreign secretary’s visit to Russia planned this month due to rescheduling of the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting,” a spokesman for Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement.

“The foreign secretary has spoken to (Russian) Foreign Minister (Sergei) Lavrov, and looks forward to reinstating his visit as soon as possible.”

The NATO meeting was brought forward to March 31 from early next month.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, Editing by Paul Sandle)