The Treasury Department Won’t Give Exxon Mobil a Waiver to Drill in Russia

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The Treasury Department said it will not give Exxon Mobil a waiver to drill for oil in Russia despite U.S. sanctions against the country.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday in a statement that the administration, “will not be issuing waivers to U.S. companies, including Exxon, authorizing drilling prohibited by current Russian sanctions,” according to the Associated Press.

Exxon was seeking a waiver in order to continue drilling in the Black Sea, the AP reports. The company previously had an agreement with Russian oil company PAO Rosneft.

Exxon would not confirm whether or not it was seeking the waiver at all earlier this month, Reuters reports. Exxon’s former chief executive Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lobbied against the sanctions in 2014.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called the request for a waiver “crazy” last week in a tweet linking to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

The move comes as the FBI and Congressional intelligence committees are investigating Russian hacking that allegedly attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election, as well as possible contact between Russian officials and members of President Donald Trump’s campaign.

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