The president-elect has chosen Exxon Mobil CEO as secretary of state but experts say Senate may bridle over realpolitik choice that would benefit Russia

Rex Tillerson’s nomination as the next secretary of state confirms Vladimir Putin as one of the strategic victors of the US presidential election.

Barack Obama has ordered an inquiry into covert Russian intervention in the campaign, which the CIA says was designed to secure a victory for Donald Trump. But whether or not Russian intervention made a significant difference to the outcome, a Tillerson appointment would represent a significant gain for Moscow. He must be confirmed by the Senate.

Related: Intelligence figures fear Trump reprisals over assessment of Russia election role

Trump’s choice suggests he wants to make good on his promise to cut deals with Russia instead of containing it

Related: Trump’s choice for education secretary raises fears in Detroit

A US foreign policy based on realpolitik rather than on values would be a disaster for Russia

Related: Australian chosen by Trump once called president-elect a ‘marketer of fantasy’

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