Perhaps the biggest deal that the U.S. sanctions shut down was the remarkable 2011 agreement that Putin and Rosneft, Russia’s state oil company, brokered with Exxon and its CEO, Rex Tillerson. The two sides called the agreement a “Strategic Partnership.” The plum in this deal, potentially worth hundreds of billions of dollars, was new exploration for offshore oil and gas in the Russian Arctic. (The drilling deal was facilitated by global warming that has melted Arctic ice; some have asked whether Exxon was sharing with Rosneft its knowledge and modelling of accelerating climate change, even as it continued to fund efforts to conceal the risks of climate change from the American people.)
Trump, Putin, Exxon: What Is Russiagate Really About?
By Kert Davies and David Halperin Any analysis of Russiagate, and the fateful phone calls between Michael Flynn and Russia’s ambassador to the United States, must address the critical fact that U.S. sanctions on Russia are severely damaging Vladimir Putin’s economic power. In particular, these sanctions -- imposed by Barack Obama, supported by Hillary Clinton, and repeatedly questioned by Donald Trump and Rex Tillerson -- are blocking a lucrative long-term oil agreement between Russia and ExxonMobil, a deal whose value is underscored by a little-noticed 1988 declassified CIA document.