According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, is a “pragmatic” choice, TASS reported.
“We are ready to work with any partners who are interested in developing relations with Russia on an equal basis. I think both President Trump and the next Secretary of State are pragmatic people. We expect that this pragmatism will be a good foundation for building mutually beneficial cooperation from the viewpoint of the Russian-US cooperation and solving international issues," Lavrov stated.
Trump officially nominated Tillerson for the post on Tuesday morning.
Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have voiced concerns over Tillerson’s two-decade relationship with the Kremlin, which awarded him its Order of Friendship in 2013.
Tillerson has publicly criticized Western sanctions on Russia which have been in place since early 2014 when Russia annexed the Crimea. As the New York Times reported, the sanctions have halted several large-scale Exxon Mobil projects in Russia, including an exploration agreement in Siberia that could potentially be worth tens of billions of dollars.