Saturday, the head of Russia's Foreign Affairs Committee, Aleksey Pushkov, sent out a tweet praising President-elect Donald Trump's potential selection for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson:
Выбор Тиллерсона - сенсация. Это бизнесмен, по определению прагматик, да еще и с большим опытом работы с Россией. Трамп продолжает удивлять.— Алексей Пушков (@Alexey_Pushkov) December 10, 2016
Translated, the tweet reads:
"Selecting Tillerson - sensation. This businessman, by definition, a pragmatist, but still with a lot of experience with Russia. Trump continues to amaze."
To nominate Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobil, would pose significant risks.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "among those considered for the post, Mr. Tillerson has perhaps the closest ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, having negotiated a 2011 energy partnership deal with Russia that Mr. Putin said could eventually be worth as much as $500 billion. In 2012, the Kremlin bestowed the country’s Order of Friendship decoration on Mr. Tillerson."
Even if Tillerson were to sever his ties with Exxon Mobil, his relationship to the company might present severe conflicts of interest, especially as it pertains to Russia.
Also of note, when your greatest geopolitical foe praises your choice for Secretary of State, you may want to make a different choice.