After President Donald Trump vowed to uphold sanctions against Russia, the oil giant Exxon Mobil would not be allowed to resume drilling work in Russia.
After talks with Mr. Trump, the U.S. Treasury Department said that it would not waive sanctions on Russia for U.S. firms looking to restart work.
Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, had sought an exemption according to reports.
The economic sanctions on Russia were imposed by the European Union and the U.S. in 2014, after the annexation of Crimea region by Russia, and her role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
In a statement on Friday, the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said:
“In consultation with President Donald J Trump, the Treasury Department will not be issuing waivers to US companies, including Exxon, authorizing drilling prohibited by current Russian sanctions.”
Exxon has a joint venture with Russia’s Rosneft in Arctic Bara Sea, the Black Sea, and Siberia; these projects were to play a major part in the U.S. company’s future growth, but after the imposition of the sanctions, Exxon was forced to wind down drilling in Russia.
The Texas-based company’s former chief, Rex Tillerson, is currently serving as Mr. Trump’s Secretary of State.
A controversy that revolved around his appointment was his apparent closeness to many senior officials and public figures in Russia, including President Vladimir Putin.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that Exxon Mobil was seeking a waiver; it said that the company was worried that its international oil rivals were gaining an advantage in Russia because of the sanctions.