07:58 GMT18 February 2020
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    Rex Tillerson's possible nomination as a future Secretary of State can help him to understand complex sanctions against countries like Russia and Iran, former US Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG) member Lawrence Ward told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Exxon Mobil chief Rex Tillerson can leverage his understanding of complex sanctions against countries like Russia and Iran when crafting US foreign policy in his role as the country’s top diplomat, former US Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG) member Lawrence Ward told Sputnik.

    On Tuesday, US President-elect Donald Trump announced his plan to nominate Tillerson to be the United States’ 69th secretary of state. The nomination is subject to approval by the Senate.

    "As the CEO of Exxon, Tillerson understands and appreciates the complicated regime of sanctions as to countries like Iran and Russia," Ward said on Tuesday. "He’ll bring that practical knowledge to the discussion table as the Trump Administration sets out its foreign policy."

    In his role as top diplomat, Ward explained, Tillerson will be responsible for shaping policies related to US economic sanctions and trade embargoes.

    Exxon Mobil has been involved in various projects in Russia, including the exploration, development and the operation of the Sakhalin-1 project since the early 1990s.

    In June 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded Tillerson the Russian Order of Friendship for significant contribution to strengthening cooperation in the energy sector.

    US Democratic lawmakers and other critics have raised concerns about Tillerson’s business ties to Russia and his expected advocacy for environmentally damaging fossil fuels at the expense of cleaner energy alternatives.

    Ward was appointed by the State Department to serve on the US Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG), which advises the government on global security-related trade matters.


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    sanctions, anti-Russian policy, Exxon Mobil, Rex Tillerson, Iran, United States, Russia
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