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US Treasury Accuses Exxon Mobil Of 2014 Violation Of Russia Sanctions

US Treasury Accuses Exxon Mobil Of 2014 Violation Of Russia Sanctions

US Treasury Accuses Exxon Mobil Of 2014 Violation Of Russia Sanctions

ExxonMobil was fined $2 million for violating sanctions against Russian Federation in 2014, the Treasury Department said Thursday.

Exxon signed eight legal documents related to oil and gas projects in Russian Federation with Rosneft, a company that US interests are allowed to do business with.

One mitigating factor in the penalty against Exxon, however, may be due to the fact that the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had not penalized or found violation against the American oil giant in the five years preceding Exxon's first illicit transaction.

The violations occurred "Between on or about May 14, 2014 and on or about May 23, 2014", when Tillerson was CEO.

A statement released by the government says that Exxon showed "reckless disregard" and that the most senior individuals at the company were aware of the sanctions when they conducted business with Russian businessmen.

Exxon's filing in USA court said the OFAC action is "fundamentally unfair and constitutes a denial of due process under the Constitution".

In a statement, Exxon countered that it had done nothing wrong and complained that the fine was "fundamentally unfair".

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The U.S. said that the presidents of two Exxon's subsidiaries and Sechin had signed eight legal documents in May 2014.

The violations were "egregious" and "caused significant harm" to the objectives of the punishment on Russian Federation imposed by then-President Barack Obama, authorities said. Foreign Policy magazine reported "Sechin's personal assets will be frozen, but Treasury officials said the designation wouldn't impact US companies' ability to do business with Rosneft because Sechin does not control the firm".

ExxonMobil had fully complied with guidance from Democratic former President Barack Obama's administration that ongoing oil and gas business activities with Rosneft were permitted, Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers said in a statement. A few days later, Tillerson was unambiguous about Exxon's opposition to the sanctions during his company's annual meeting.

The same month that Exxon signed the deals, Tillerson said the company generally opposes sanctions and finds them "ineffective".

Sechin is the CEO of Russian state oil giant Rosneft and a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The State Department referred questions about the fine to ExxonMobil and the Treasury. Tillerson, "knew of Sechin's status as an SDN (Specially Designated National) when they dealt in the blocked services of Sechin" and that "ExxonMobil is a sophisticated and experienced oil and gas company that has global operations and routinely deals in goods, services, and technology subject to U.S economic sanctions and USA export controls" and therefore should have known better.

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