"OFAC [Office of Foreign Assets Control] 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. OFAC’s action is fundamentally unfair," the statement said.
In May 2014, ExxonMobil reportedly violated the sanctions when the presidents of its US subsidiaries signed eight legal documents related to oil and gas projects in Russia with Rosneft President Igor Sechin, who is under US sanctions, the release noted.
Exxon Mobil noted in the statement the company acted according to the White House and Treasury Department directives when its officials signed documents related to existing oil and gas projects in Russia with Rosneft, which is a non-blocked entity. The deals were countersigned on behalf of Sechin.
"Each of the legal documents cited by OFAC solely related to Rosneft’s business," the statement pointed out.
Relations between the United States and Russia deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine as Washington rebuked the Russian government for its alleged role in the conflict in Ukraine and refused to recognize Crimea’s rejoining Russia after holding a referendum in March 2014.
The United States then introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions despite the fact that Moscow has repeatedly refuted Washington’s allegations.