Five Hundred Billion Dollars.
Got your attention? An oil deal Rex Tillerson, the Exxon executive just nominated to be the Secretary of State, brokered with Russia was stopped by sanctions against Russia. That deal was expected to be worth about 500 billion dollars. Now, the President-elect has nominated a man who not only received a Russian friendship medal but also has personal and business interests in lifting sanctions against them. That doesn’t mean, necessarily, that Rex Tillerson is a walking conflict of interest, though, does it?
These financial sector sanctions are additional to those caused by their illegal annexation of Crimea, and were placed on them by the US and the EU. They have been described as “the only sanctions Russia cares about.” (Read: only ones affecting them enough to matter.)
Russia has, then, a vested interest in getting them lifted, but isn’t like Rex Tillerson could do anything about the sanctions as Exxon CEO (which he is currently).
According to CNBC, and political and economic analyst Chris Weafer:
It is these sanctions that have been far more extensive and damaging on the Russian economy than those solely related to Crimea, in no small part causing Russia’s economy to nosedive into a recession in 2015 amid the ensuing capital flight.
“You must differentiate the two blocs of sanctions,” Weafer noted. “The Crimea sanctions are not going anywhere as far as anybody is concerned but we’re looking at (these separate) sectoral sanctions that affect the technology sector, oil and financial sector and of those three, the financial sector ones are the most important,” he added.
We really shouldn’t worry about Rex Tillerson, though, according to Trevor Noah. Those sanctions are there for a reason and are solid. It would take, at least, someone like the Secretary of State to convince the President to… Oh, crap.
As Noah mentions, if Russia was indeed in the market to influence our election, this single cabinet appointment would make all their trouble and financial investment worthwhile. Regardless of any involvement, Trump’s win is shaping into a windfall for Russia, a black eye for America, and a total disaster for the environment.
Watch here courtesy of Comedy Central:
— Comedy Central (@ComedyCentral) December 14, 2016