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 "That was a taking of territory," - secretary of state nominee Tillerson on occupation of Crimea

The United States' response to Russia's actions in Crimea was weak and prompted Russia to further activity in the east of Ukraine.

This was announced on Wednesday by Trump's candidate for the post of secretary of state Rex Tillerson in the first confirmation hearings in the Senate, Censor.NET reports citing Fox News.

Read more: "I have nothing to do with Russia", - Trump

"That was a taking of territory that was not theirs," he said.

According to Tillerson, the United States offered a "weak response" against Russia for its actions in Crimea, which prompted Moscow to further activity in the east of Ukraine.

Tillerson stressed in those circumstances the U.S. should act more decisively, including sharing intelligence data with Ukraine on the situation in the country's east and providing it with defensive weapons.

He added the Minsk agreements have not yet been fulfilled. According to him, Russia does not exhibit unpredictability defending its interests.

"Russia today poses a danger, but it is not unpredictable in advancing its own interests," he said.

Read more: "Down with Russia!": rally against Russia's policy breaks out in Iranian capital

"We need an open and frank dialogue with Russia regarding its ambitions, so that we know how to chart our own course," he added.

Tillerson said NATO realistically assesses the danger posed by Russia.

"Our NATO allies are right to be alarmed at a resurgent Russia," he remarked.

Read more: Several probes preceded launch of new sanctions against Russia, - Kerry

Tillerson also expressed concerns about reports on Russia's meddling in the recent U.S. election.

"That report clearly is troubling," he said, answering a question by Senator Marco Rubio.
   
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