Rex Tillerson and Vladimir Putin have a strategic alliance that transcends national borders. The man tapped to be the next Secretary of State shares Trump's love for the Russian dictator. In his capacity as the CEO of Exxon, Tillerson forged a close personal relationship with Putin. In 2013 he was even awarded Russia's highest honor, the Order of Friendship. The tie that binds Tillerson and Putin is oil.
To be fair, Tillerson is not a puppet like Trump. He is far more adept at navigating the nuances of international diplomacy. Tillerson is arguably the only member of the prospective Trump administration that has a clue about the complex realm of geopolitics. However, Tillerson comes to the job with a clear agenda and both men have their eyes fixed on black gold.
The only thing stopping them are sanctions that were implemented against Russia for its invasion and annexation of Crimea. This halted some of Exxon Mobil’s biggest projects in Russia, including an agreement with the state oil company in Siberia that could be worth as much as a $500 hundred billion.
There have been bipartisan concerns expressed about the two decades-long relationship with Putin. Tillerson is expected to drop sanctions against Russia and work with the despotic regime to open the Arctic to drilling for oil.
As reported by the New York Times, Tillerson's Exxon has entered into joint ventures with Rosneft, a Russian-backed oil company, that is said to be a primary contributor to Putin's personal fortune which is rumored to be as much as 100 billion. It would appear Putin is looking for another far bigger score.
To further illustrate Tillerson's close cooperation with Putin's Russia, he even made donations to the country’s health and social programs.
As explained by a former top Russian minister, Tillerson is a "gift for Putin".
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