Trump’s ExxonMobil CEO Secretary of State Pick Received “Order of Friendship” from Putin

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December 13, 2016 – Fort Russ News

RIA Novosti – Translated from Russian by Kristina Kharlova

The US President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday chose the head of the largest oil company of the country ExxonMobil Rex Tillerson to the post of Secretary of State.

Below are five facts about Tillerson’s connections to Russia.

ExxonMobil, the headquarters of which is located in the state of Texas, is the largest private oil company in the world and one of the largest corporations by capitalization.

In Russia the company participates in the project “Sakhalin-1” (30% in Japanese Sodeco and ExxonMobil, 20% – Rosneft and India’s ONGC), developing oil and gas fields “Chayvo”, “Odoptu”, and “Arkutun-Dagi” on the Sakhalin shelf.

Tillerson joined the company in 1975. In January 1998, he became Vice President of Exxon Ventures (CIS) Inc. and President of Exxon Neftegas Limited. Tillerson was in charge of Exxon projects in Russia and the Caspian region, as well as the activities of the consortium “Sakhalin-1” on the shelf of Sakhalin island, repeatedly visited Russia. For the last 14 years he headed ExxonMobil.

Tillerson repeatedly met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In particular, in 2003, he participated in the meeting of the President with heads of Russian and foreign energy companies and laureates of “Global Energy” awards in Saint-Petersburg.

In September 2005 they met in Washington, where Putin was on a working visit. In June 2012, Putin attended the opening of the berthing complex for transshipment of oil products in Tuapse.

There in his presence Tillerson and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin signed an agreement on joint development of tight oil reserves in Western Siberia, followed by a meeting. The head of ExxonMobil has participated in St. Petersburg international economic forum, including this year.

Rex Tillerson was awarded the Russian Order of Friendship. Putin personally handed it to the head of ExxonMobil at the meeting with heads of energy companies in June 2013 in the framework of SPIEF.

Tillerson was awarded the Order of Friendship “for significant contribution in strengthening cooperation in the energy sector.”

Tillerson’s participation in the current St. Petersburg economic forum was viewed by Reuters journalists as especially notable on the background of the tough stance of Washington to maintain sanctions against Russia.

According to American experts, ExxonMobil was perhaps the most affected American company by US sanctions against Russia – the company was forced to suspend work on nine projects within a strategic partnership agreement with Rosneft.

Tillerson told reporters that the company looks forward to opportunities to return to work in Russia, reported Bloomberg. At the SPIEF, the head of ExxonMobil held a meeting with energy Minister Alexander Novak, they discussed the issue of monetizing gas “Sakhalin-1”.

The adviser to US president elect Donald Trump, Kellyann Conway said that Tillerson’s relationship with Putin is built on business interests – they are not about to “drink shots of vodka at a bar together”.

At the annual meeting of Exxon in 2014, Tillerson said, “basically, we do not support sanctions, because we do not consider them to be effective unless they are applied in a transparent manner, and it is very hard to do. So we always encourage people who are making those decisions to keep in mind the massive risks involved – who they really hurt”.

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