Tillerson: US Has Poor Relationship With Russia

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US and Russia have a "poor relationship," a declaration made in a year-end New York Times op-ed he wrote assessing the State Department during his 2017 tenure.

Tillerson's piece for the Thursday morning edition of the Times maintained the balance he has sought to strike in public on Russia, navigating opposition to Russia for aggression while seeking potential cooperation on key issues.

"On Russia, we have no illusions about the regime we are dealing with," Tillerson said. "The United States today has a poor relationship with a resurgent Russia that has invaded its neighbors Georgia and Ukraine in the last decade and undermined the sovereignty of Western nations by meddling in our election and others."

He said in the piece, as he did earlier in December, that the US will not have "business as usual" with Russia until the conflict ends in Ukraine. A State Department official told CNN last week that the US would provide Ukraine with lethal anti-tank weapons.

Tillerson also said the US must "recognize the need to work with Russia where mutual interests intersect" and cited the war in Syria as the highest priority for potential cooperation between the two nations.