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Trump, Tillerson’s declarations aiming to please US senator, says senior MP

January 12, 3:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Slutsky recalled Tillerson’s words that the U.S. would recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia only if the situation around the peninsula would be settled in a way Ukraine would find suitable
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© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. Latest statements U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump and his nominee for the position of the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, have been making on Russia are meant much more for the audiences in the U.S. Senate than for defining the Russian vector of U.S. foreign policies, Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the State Duma foreign policy committee said on Thursday.

"I’d rather refrain from assessing the declarations that Donald Trump and Rex Tillerson have made on Russia as the ones that determine the Russian vector of the incoming Administration’s foreign policy," he said.

"Tillerson appeared at the hearings in the Senate where he the approval of his candidature for the top post at the Department of State is to take place and the latest events show the strength of anti-Russian sentiments among the Senate’s Democrats and Republicans likewise," Slutsky said. "That’s why the statements made by Tillerson were, in most probability, aimed at pleasing that audience."

Along with it, he singled out Tillerson statement on Crimea. "If you take a deeper look at it, I got interest not only in the declarations on sanctions, cyberattacks and the like stuff, as they were quite expectable. I took note of the Crimean issue."

He recalled Tillerson’s words that the U.S. would recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia only if the situation around the peninsula would be settled in a way Ukraine would find suitable.

"He said the only way to make this possible would be a broader arrangement respecting the interests of the Ukrainian people but it’s known perfectly well Ukraine is a territory under external administration and Washington is handling a remote for it," Slutsky said. "Does this mean the start of a process of recognition instead of the ‘Return Crimea’ categorical demand?"

"Also, Tillerson doesn’t deny essentiality of a dialogue with Moscow," he said. "In spite of the tough rhetoric, this leaves an opportunity for the restoration of constructive aspects of Russian-American relationship."

Earlier reports said Tillerson said told the Senate hearings he was prepared to support the furnishing of Ukraine with lethal weapons. Also, he spoke for the maintenance of current sanctions against Russia and called of building up the volumes of propagandistic broadcasting to Russia.

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