The Office for the Control of Foreign Assets (OFAC), a division of the US Treasury, imposed a $ 2 million fine on the ExxonMobil oil corporation, including its subsidiaries in the US ExxonMobil Development and ExxonMobil Oil, for violating sanctions imposed in connection with Russia's actions against Ukraine. This was reported on Thursday by OFAC.
In the period from May 14 to 23, 2014, ExxonMobil violated the sanctions imposed after the annexation of the Crimea, when the presidents of its American "daughters" entered into business relations with a person whose property or ownership interests were frozen in the US, Executive director of Rosneft Igor Sechin. In particular, they signed with him eight legal documents related to oil and gas projects in Russia.
OFAC decided that ExxonMobil did not inform regulators voluntarily about these actions, and considered them to be a violation of the sanctions regime. During the signing of documents, the company's top managers already knew about the sanctions status of Sechin, the regulator said. He was included in the list of persons who are banned from entering the US and whose assets in the US should be frozen among other persons close to President Vladimir Putin. The decree on the sanctions of President Barack Obama clearly postulated that persons from the United States are forbidden to deal with such people, including providing them and receiving money, goods, services from them, recalls OFAC.
Obama signed the decree on March 16, 2014, Sechin was included in the sanctions list on April 28. The Ministry of Finance on the same day reported in a press release that "the operations of individuals from the United States or in the United States with people or organizations included in the sanctions list are generally prohibited." On 8 May, the OFAC issued clarifications stating that US persons are prohibited from dealing with people who have been sanctioned, including Sechin, from receiving services from them or benefiting from any services that they can provide. Despite this, ExxonMobil "did not stop and signed legal documents with Igor Sechin in the period from May 14 to 23, 2014," indicates OFAC.
In the objections sent to OFAC, ExxonMobil noted, in the explanations for the media, representatives of the presidential administration noted that the goal of the decree is to identify and isolate people from the inner circle of Putin, and not the companies that they can manage. (Sectoral sanctions against Russian companies that limited their technology supply or long-term financing were introduced later, after the Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down in July over Donetsk.) Therefore, ExxonMobil, according to her, shared "personal" and "professional" communication With Sechin, especially since people from the United States, for example, were not forbidden to participate in the meeting of the board of directors of Rosneft.
However, OFAC in its report indicates that neither in the presidential decree nor in the explanations of the office does such a separation exist. Their text, press releases from the White House and the Ministry of Finance regarding the ban on operations with people on the sanctions list, as well as similar cases back in 2013, "make it clear to ExxonMobil that OFAC will consider signing documents with a person on the sanctions list as a violation Bans imposed by sanctions imposed in connection with the events in Ukraine ".
ExxonMobil's actions and the fact that the company did not voluntarily notify them, OFAC qualifies as "an obvious violation." In addition, there are aggravating circumstances in the case, the agency states: a company that operates around the world and constantly follows the requirements related to sanctions and restrictions neglected the ban, especially since its top managers knew that Sechin was included in the sanctions list . And by its actions ExxonMobil "inflicted significant damage to the objectives of the sanctions program related to the events in Ukraine."
The basic and maximum penalty for such a violation - $ 2 million, he imposed and OFAC.