02:17 GMT +317 July 2019
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    Rex Tillerson testifies during a confirmation hearing

    Tillerson's Nomination Puts Both Russia and the US 'in a Safer Place'

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    Rex Tillerson has been sworn in as the new US Secretary of State. On Wednesday the Senate approved President Trump's choice for the post by 56 to 43 votes.

    Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Doug Wead, political analyst and New York Times bestselling author, who has also served as an adviser to two American presidents.

    Commenting on what the new appointment will mean for US-Russia relations, the expert said:

    "I think it will be good for US-Russia relations because he [Tillerson] is well informed, and the decisions he makes will be made from experience, and not out of ignorance. Sometimes, countries — in this case, the United States and Russia — misunderstand each other, their people, and the desires of their people, and the history of their people. And that ignorance can lead to misunderstandings, which can lead to war," the expert told Sputnik.

    "So, having this Secretary of State in office, who's travelled extensively in Russia, knows the Russian people, and, more importantly, understands the history — the history of the borders, the history of the relationships with Ukraine, Crimea — having the Secretary of State with that kind of knowledge is going to be a benefit, in my opinion," he added.

    In December 2016, Trump announced that he had chosen Tillerson, who previously served as the CEO of Exxon Mobil, to lead the US Department of State. His candidacy, however, was strongly opposed by the US political establishment. The latter criticized Tillerson for his close business ties with Russia and alleged friendly relations with President Putin.

    However, Wead assessed Tillerson as a "smart" and "capable" man who had a great experience of working with Russia for many years and therefore and therefore is likely to contribute to an improvement in relations between Moscow and Washington.

    "From my point of view, he can have a great influence, because he understands the history of Russia and its needs. Because of his understanding of that, I think it puts both countries in a better, safer place," he stated.

    Tillerson was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday, with Republicans backing his nomination and most of Democrats opposing it.


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