The Denver Post - - NEWS NATION & WORLD -

With two decades of deal­mak­ing in Rus­sia’s vi­tal oil in­dus­try un­der his belt, Rex Tiller­son is Vladimir Putin’s kind of man.

The Exxon Mo­bil chief is Don­ald Trump’s pick for sec­re­tary of state, fu­el­ing op­ti­mism in Moscow that a longed-for thaw in re­la­tions is near.

If con­firmed, Tiller­son would join an­other sup­porter of closer co­op­er­a­tion with Rus­sia at the top of Amer­ica’s pol­icy-mak­ing ap­pa­ra­tus, Michael Flynn, the pres­i­dent-elect’s na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser.

Add in Trump’s nom­i­nee for de­fense sec­re­tary, re­tired Gen. James Mat­tis, who is viewed in Moscow as more prag­matic than his pre­de­ces­sors, and the Krem­lin couldn’t ask for much more, ac­cord­ing to Sergei Markov, a con­sul­tant to Putin’s staff.

“This is a fan­tas­tic team,” Markov said. “These are peo­ple that Rus­sia can do busi­ness with.” Rus­sia is bank­ing on bet­ter re­la­tions with the in­com­ing Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to help it end a stretch of in­ter­na­tional iso­la­tion and emerge from its long­est re­ces­sion in two decades.

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