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Mar 14, 5:42 AM EDT

Russia: Things can't get worse with new US chief diplomat

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MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman says relations with the U.S. can't get any worse so he's hoping for improvement under a new secretary of state.

Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday that he's not worried about relations getting worse after Rex Tillerson's ouster, saying the relationship "can hardly go lower than the floor."

He said he hopes for a "constructive and sober approach in joint relations" under Tillerson's nominated replacement, CIA Director Mike Pompeo. "This hope will always remain."

Relations between the U.S. and Russia have worsened in recent years over the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria and alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential campaign.

Trump unexpectedly fired Tillerson on Tuesday. Pompeo faces Senate confirmation hearings where he is expected to be asked about his approach toward Russia.

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