Exxon sues feds over Russia fine

Exxon sues feds over Russia fine
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ExxonMobil Corp. is suing the government after the Treasury Department imposed a $2 million fine on the oil giant for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions against Russia.

Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), said Exxon in 2014 signed "eight legal documents related to oil and gas projects in Russia" with Igor Sechin, the president of Rosneft, a Russian government-owned oil company.

Sechin was the subject of U.S. sanctions on Russia following its incursion into Crimea.

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But Exxon is challenging the fine in court, saying the Treasury Department sent conflicting messages about whether the deal was allowed.

According to Exxon, previous government statements implied the company could cut deals with Rosneft, but not Sechin's personal businesses.

Its lawsuit filed Thursday claims OFAC is trying to "retroactively enforce a new interpretation of an executive order that is inconsistent with the explicit and unambiguous guidance from the White House and Treasury issued before the relevant conduct and still publicly available today."

The alleged sanctions violation dates back to Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonBolton says Russia, China seeking to promote discord in Trump administration Bolton says Russia, China seeking to promote discord in Trump administration Trump's nastiest break-ups: A look at the president's most fiery feuds MORE's tenure as Exxon CEO.

Tillerson has recused himself from any matters involving the oil giant.

— This story was updated at 11:05 a.m.