Breaking news folks: The Treasury Department refused to grant Exxon Mobil’s request for a waiver from U.S. sanctions against Russia that the Obama Administration put in place in 2014 as a result of Putin’s annexation of Crimea. These sanctions prevent U.S. companies from certain business operations in Russia, including oil and gas exploration, which are the lifeblood of the Russian economy.
The decision by the Treasury Department is noteworthy considering the friends Exxon has at the highest levels of the Trump Administration. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson resigned as CEO of Exxon to join Trump’s Cabinet, and the bold move by Exxon to request a waiver from Russian sanctions is likely a microcosm of Tillerson’s position of power within the federal government. Particularly during such a volatile period in U.S.-Russia relations.
Exxon’s request would have opened the door for new drilling sites in Russia as part of a joint-venture between Exxon Mobil and Rosneft, the massive Russian state controlled oil giant.
Given the DNA of this partnership deal, these drilling operations would likely result in financial gains for senior member’s of the Putin regime, which directly contradicts the intent of existing U.S. sanctions that are aimed at squeezing Putin’s inner circle.
Tillerson’s fingerprints appear to be all over this waiver request, having recently visited Moscow as part of a State Department envoy to the Kremlin. We also cannot forget that Tillerson received Russia’s Order of Friendship medal in 2013, the highest honor bestowed upon foreigners by the Russian state.
Stay tuned for more developments and hard-hitting analysis of this breaking story from the team at Democratic Memes.
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