Press Release

April 21, 2017
Cardin Statement on Exxon Request to Ignore U.S. Sanctions, Drill in Russia
"There can be only one response to such a request – a categorical rejection."

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after several media outlets reported Exxon Mobil has requested a waiver from sanctions from the U.S. Treasury Department in order to resume its drilling partnership with the Russian oil company Rosneft:

“I am shocked and disappointed to hear that Exxon Mobil is seeking, and the Treasury Department is considering, waiving sanctions against doing business with Russia.

“There can be only one response to such a request – a categorical rejection.

“Those sanctions were imposed for the most serious violations of international law when Russia invaded Ukraine and later annexed Crimea.  Russia continues to ignore international condemnation, and is escalating hostilities in Eastern Ukraine to press for further military advantage.  In light of Russia’s complicity in war crimes in Syria as well as its flagrant interference with our basic democratic institutions and those of our European allies, our sanctions should be strengthened and extended. 

“Given Russia’s well-documented and troubling activities around the world, it is troubling Exxon Mobil would continue to press for its narrow economic advantage at the expense of our national interests.  The deals they are seeking would put money in the pockets of Russian oligarchs and the Russian treasury, guaranteed to be used against America, our interests, and our allies.

“I expect to hear a clear statement from the Administration that this request has been explicitly denied.”