Logos of ExxonMobil are seen in its booth at Gastech, the world's biggest expo for the gas industry, in Chiba, Japan April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

The unusually direct statement served to clarify that the United States would maintain a tough stance on sanctions against Moscow.
“In consultation with President Donald J. Trump, the Treasury Department will not be issuing waivers to U.S. companies, including Exxon, authorizing drilling prohibited by current Russian sanctions,” Mnuchin said in a statement.
The United States and European Union imposed economic sanctions on Russia over its annexation of the Crimea region in 2014 and its role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The sanctions forced Exxon, the world’s largest publicly traded oil producer, to wind down drilling in Russia’s Arctic in 2014.
“We understand the statement today by Secretary Mnuchin in consultation with President Trump,” Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers said.
Exxon had asked for and received in 2015 and 2016 waivers to operate a joint venture with Russian oil producer Rosneft in Russia. European Union sanctions do not keep European oil companies from operating …
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