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Buzzfeed’s boring Tillerson document may be a work of historical ficton

Buzzfeed has reported that it got its hands on a classified document outlining US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s ‘new Russia strategy’. There are only two problems.

1. The alleged contents of the document contained no new information above and beyond what Tillerson has stated on many occasions.

2. The document may not exist.

The three points are outlined by Sputnik as follows:

“First, it is supposed to convince Moscow to refrain from what the United States sees as aggressive actions and to make it clear that Washington will retaliate.

The second point is engagement with the Russian side on issues of strategic interest to the United States, including Syria and North Korea, as well as cybersecurity. In particular, Tillerson wants to seek coordination with Russia in fighting the Islamic State terror group, which is banned in both countries, more actively. As for North Korea, it is supposed to reverse the growth of trade between Russia and North Korea in order to isolate Pyongyang.

The third point of the plan emphasizes the importance of maintaining strategic stability with Russia”.
Literally none of this is new information. Tillerson has repeatedly said, including in the presence of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that he would like to cooperate with Russia constructively on issues such as Syria and North Korea. This was underscored in Tillerson’s most recent meeting in Moscow with Lavrov.

Likewise, Tillerson has said on many occasions that he would ideally like to work with Russia to create a stable-world environment against  the onslaught of common threats. However, as per point one, the US remains occasionally critical of Russia for things ranging from the fact that the Russian government respects Crimean democracy to Russia’s position representing the legal status of the Syrian government.
>In other words, nothing new.

When asked about the existence of such a document, Sergey Lavrov responded by implying that he was personally unaware of such a thing until he read it on the often unreilable Buzzfeed, a website more famous for celebrity gossip than serious news and analysis.

When asked if he was aware of the existence of such a document, Lavrov

“I read about it. You write, I read it”.

The existence of such a document is looking increasingly dubious. Even if it does exist, it doesn’t contain any new, startling or revealing information.

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