Vladimir Putin and Rex Tillerson attended the ceremony of signing of the Rosneft-ExxonMobil strategic partnership agreement, 2011.Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti
Washington needs an "open and frank dialogue" with Moscow, Rex Tillerson, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the State Department, said testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Tillerson’s remarks were released after his confirmation hearing began.
The former Exxon Mobil CEO also said that the U.S. must "be clear-eyed about our relationship with Russia." "Russia today poses a danger, but it is not unpredictable in advancing its own interests," he added. "We need an open and frank dialogue with Russia regarding its ambitions, so that we know how to chart our own course," Tillerson stressed.
He was expected to make hardline statements as pro-Democratic media in the U.S. accuse him, as well as Trump, of sympathizing with Russia. However, the remarks mention neither Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election nor the future of anti-Russian sanctions. Ben Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he was "disappointed" with it.
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