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Tillerson Calls for ‘Open and Frank Dialogue with Russia Regarding Its Ambitions’

by Susan Jones, CNSnews:

Rex Tillerson, nominated to serve as Donald Trump’s secretary of state, said the United States must be “clear-eyed about its relationship with Russia.”

In his opening statement to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, the former ExxonMobil CEO called for an “open and frank dialogue…so that we know how to chart our own course.

“Where cooperation with Russia based on common interests is possible, such as reducing the global threat of terrorism, we ought to explore these options. Where important differences remain, we should be steadfast in defending the interests of America and her allies,” Tillerson said. “Russia must know that we will be accountable to our commitments and those of our allies, and that Russia must be held to account for its actions.”


We must also be clear-eyed about our relationship with Russia. Russia today poses a danger, but it is not unpredictable in advancing its own interests. It has invaded Ukraine, including the taking of Crimea, and supported Syrian forces that brutally violate the laws of war. Our NATO allies are right to be alarmed at a resurgent Russia.

But it was in the absence of American leadership that this door was left open and unintended signals were sent. We backtracked on commitments we made to allies. We sent weak or mixed signals with “red lines” that turned into green lights. We did not recognize that Russia does not think like we do.

Words alone do not sweep away an uneven and at times contentious history between our two nations. But we need an open and frank dialogue with Russia regarding its ambitions, so that we know how to chart our own course.

Where cooperation with Russia based on common interests is possible, such as reducing the global threat of terrorism, we ought to explore these options. Where important differences remain, we should be steadfast in defending the interests of America and her allies. Russia must know that we will be accountable to our commitments and those of our allies, and that Russia must be held to account for its actions.

Read More @ CNSnews.com

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