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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.)

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