I really do believe the USA mission in Moscow is a good beginning for rebuilding trust with the next presidential elections, right?
April 20, 2017
By Clifford Krauss
Houston — Exxon Mobil (click here) is pursuing a waiver from Treasury Department sanctions on Russia to drill in the Black Sea in a venture with Rosneft, the Russian state oil company, a former State Department official said on Wednesday. An oil industry official confirmed the account.
The waiver application was made under the Obama administration, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity, and the company has not dropped the proposal.
The proposal is now before the Trump administration at a delicate time in Russian-American relations, with rising tensions over the war in Syria and a looming congressional inquiry into reports of Russian efforts to influence the United States presidential election.
The appeal did not come up during Senate confirmation hearings for Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, who was Exxon Mobil’s chief executive before his nomination by President Trump and was known to have a strong working relationship with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. At the time, Mr. Tillerson and other company officials said they had not lobbied against the sanctions, which were imposed on Russia in response to its military intervention in Ukraine....
The Black Sea? Really? You mean the place where Crimea sits? That Black Sea? The place where NATO member Turkey is? That Black Sea?
April 21, 2017
By Clifford Krauss
Houston — The Trump administration (click here) delivered a setback to Exxon Mobil on Friday, announcing that it would not grant the oil giant a waiver from sanctions against Russia that would allow drilling in the Black Sea.
The decision, reinforcing barriers erected by the United States over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, was another sign that President Trump has been unwilling or unable to improve relations with the Kremlin early in his term, after pledging as a candidate that he would seek a thaw.
“In consultation with President Donald J. Trump,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a terse, prepared statement, “the Treasury Department will not be issuing waivers to U.S. companies, including Exxon, authorizing drilling prohibited by current Russian sanctions.”
The prospect of a waiver had drawn denunciations from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers. When news of Exxon Mobil’s proposal emerged this week, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, wrote in a Twitter post, “Are they crazy?”...