NEW YORK (Diya TV) — President-elect Donald Trump this week announced his intentions to nominate ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, a pick that could pose complications in the confirmation process due to Tillerson’s ties to Russia.

The 64-year-old has no government or diplomatic experience, however, he has done extensive business overseas on behalf of his employer.

His business, particularly with Russian President Vladimir Putin and in the Middle East, has attracted criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike.

“His close connection to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government raises serious questions at a time when our national intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia engaged in cyber espionage against the United States during the 2016 Presidential election,” Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, said in a statement after the announcement. “Further, the documented efforts by ExxonMobil to fund organizations denying climate science during Tillerson’s tenure at the company deserve critical attention.”

He worked alongside Putin so closely on the closure of a 2011 oil deal, that when all was said and done, TIllerson was awarded the Russian Order of Friendship.

Trump downplayed Tillerson’s lack of experience in professional politics and called him “a forceful and clear-eyed advocate for America’s vital national interests.”

“Rex Tillerson’s career is the embodiment of the American dream. Through hard work, dedication and smart deal making, Rex rose through the ranks to become CEO of ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest and most respected companies,” Trump said in a statement. “His tenacity, broad experience and deep understanding of geopolitics make him an excellent choice for Secretary of State. He will promote regional stability and focus on the core national security interests of the United States.”

“I can think of no one more prepared, and no one more dedicated, to serve as Secretary of State at this critical time in our history,” he added.

After the announcement, Trump tweeted, “The thing I like best about Rex Tillerson is that he has vast experience at dealing successfully with all types of foreign governments.”

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates endorsed Tillerson after the announcement.

“He would bring to the position vast knowledge, experience and success in dealing with dozens of governments and leaders in every corner of the world. He is a person of great integrity whose only goal in office would be to protect and advance the interests of the United States,” Gates said.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also shared her positive opinions on the selection.

“I know Rex as a successful business man and a patriot. He will represent the interests and the values of the United States with resolve and commitment. And he will lead the exceptional men and women of the State Department with respect and dedication,” she posted on her Facebook page.