Exxon challenges Russia fine

IRVING, July 21, 2017 – Super-major ExxonMobil said on Friday it was mounting a court challenge against the US Treasury Department over a USD 2-million fine imposed for alleged violations of sanctions against Russia.

The business interactions at the heart of the dispute, with Russia’s oil giant Rosneft and with its sanctioned CEO Igor Sechin, took place in 2014 when current US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in charge of the company.


“ExxonMobil followed the clear guidance from the White House and Treasury Department when its representatives signed documents involving ongoing oil and gas activities in Russia with Rosneft — a non-blocked entity — that were countersigned on behalf of Rosneft by Sechin in his official capacity,” the company press release added.

“At the time of the signing, those activities themselves were not under any direct sanction by the U.S. government.”

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a penalty notice to ExxonMobil on Thursday, after investigating the company for over two years.

“OFAC seeks to retroactively enforce a new interpretation of an executive order that is inconsistent with the explicit and unambiguous guidance from the White House and Treasury issued before the relevant conduct and still publicly available today,” the company’s court filing charged.

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