When Vladimir Putin awarded Exxon’s then-CEO Rex Tillerson the Order of Friendship in 2012, little did either of them know that six years later they would be looking at each other from opposing corners, with Exxon planning to pull out of Russia almost completely. It has now been made official: Exxon is dropping its Arctic joint ventures with Rosneft, for the negotiation of which Tillerson got the Order of Friendship. The move was prompted by U.S. sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Crimea and involvement in separatist movements in Ukraine. These were expanded last year on allegations of Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. The withdrawal means that Exxon will have to book an after-tax charge of US$200 million, but that’s not the main point. The company also announced losses of US$1 billion related to its withdrawal from other Russian projects as a result from the […]