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Kremlin says ties with US cannot get any worse under new Secretary of State

FILE - On this Wednesday, April 12, 2017 file photo Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attend a news conference following their talks in Moscow, Russia. Russia on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017
AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, File
In outgoing remarks, Tillerson warned US must do more to respond to Russia's "troubling behavior and actions'

The Kremlin on Wednesday said ties with the US could not get any worse under next Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, after the sacking of Rex Tillerson. 

"It's hardly possible to fall below the floor, so it is unlikely things will get any worse in this regard," presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a response to a question about the high-level staff changes in the US administration.

"In any case there of course remains the hope of a constructive and sober approach to bilateral ties. There is always this hope," Peskov said at a regular press briefing.

Tillerson in his farewell remarks this week warned Washington must do more to respond to Russia's "troubling behavior and actions."

"Russia must assess carefully as to how its actions are in the best interests of the Russian people and of the world more broadly," he said.

"Continuing on their current trajectory is likely to lead to greater isolation on their part, a situation which is not in anyone's interest."

AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

The US has accused Russia of actively interfering in the 2016 presidential election, stealing Democratic party communications and pushing out disinformation through social media, claims Moscow denies.

Pompeo said in his previous role as CIA director that the agency had observed Russian activity to influence the next US election cycle, the November mid-terms.

The dismissal of America's top diplomat came in an abrupt Twitter announcement by US President Donald Trump on Tuesday, with Tillerson apparently only learning of his firing over the site.

"Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job!" Trump tweeted, "Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!"

Trump had scant words of praise for Tillerson, who had long been rumored to be about to be pushed out.

Tillerson, who said he would return to "private life," has had a rocky tenure as the top US diplomat.

He was repeatedly forced to deny he had fallen out with Trump -- vowing to remain in the post despite a sensational report that he once dubbed the president a "moron."

A respected figure in the oil business, the 65-year-old Texan's tenure at the State Department drew scorn from Trump's opponents, from former diplomats and from the Washington policy elite.

During his time in the post, he was faced with an extraordinary array of foreign policy challenges, from North Korean nuclear threats to Russian subversion to attacks on US diplomats in Cuba.

But his efforts were often overshadowed by Trump's un-diplomatic style and his streams of taunting tweets stirring international tensions.

(Staff with AFP)

Comments

(2)

Ties will get worse.

T was for pursuing 3 to 4 decades of FAILED conventional diplomacy & the nuclearization of NoKo & Iran.

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