13:38 GMT +319 September 2019
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    Rex Tillerson, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil, smiles during his testimony before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be U.S. secretary of state in Washington, U.S. January 11, 2017

    Russia Expects Better Relations With US Under New Secretary of State

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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday sent a congratulatory telegram to new US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, expressing hope for improvement of relations between Moscow and Washington, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The US Senate confirmed former Exxon Mobil CEO Tillerson in a 56-43 vote on Wednesday. Tillerson was then sworn in as the Department of State Secretary.

    "We expect improvement of relations that greatly deteriorated under Obama administration. The minister today sent a telegram of congratulations to the new Secretary of State, in which hope [for a thaw] was expressed. We have many areas for cooperation," the source said.

    According to the source, there is no agreement yet on a meeting between Lavrov and Tillerson, but Moscow does not rule out that it could take place in the near future.

    In January, during Senate confirmation hearings, Tillerson was criticized for his past business dealings with the Russian government. However, the former oilman told lawmakers the United States should maintain the status quo on anti-Russian sanctions.


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