Strange Bedfellows – Putin, Tillerson and Trump

Many have wondered why Vladimir Putin hates Hillary Clinton so much. Why did whispers of WWIII start as soon as Hillary gained momentum over Trump in the leadup to the election? And why did it seem as if America was being threatened by Russia to choose the candidate they wanted, or else?

It turns out that just like everything else in this world for the rich and powerful, it was all simply about money. Hillary Clinton stood in the way of Vladimir Putin having millions, even possibly billions of dollars. Russia’s rumored interference in the US election to ensure victory to Donald Trump is a real, tangible thing and not as far-fetched as he and his supporters would have you think.

The lynchpin to this arrangement is the CEO of Exxon Mobil Rex Tillerson who is as we speak is being grilled by the Senate as part of his confirmation for Secretary of State. So, while everyone has been distracted by Trump’s rabid tweets, and Jeff Session’s Senate confirmation hearings, Rex Tillerson has been quietly inching his way to the post that will allow him to affect foreign policy, and closer to the opportunity to be able to lift the sanctions against Putin, and restore his ability to finally make the billions owed him in his deal with Exxon Mobil.

In 2011 Russian and Exxon Mobil signed the biggest deal in oil drilling history when Exxon won the right to drill on 63 million acres of Russian land in the Russian Artic, one of the biggest untapped fossil fuel resources left in the world. The deal was worth a reported $700 billion dollars. Russia has an unexploited potential that Putin has been unable to extract himself and therefore needs to depend on the equipment and experience of Exxon to harvest. Even though since 1993, Russia has attempted to embrace democracy it remains overwhelmingly tainted by corruption, and massively influenced by Putin’s influence and power. The main oil drilling company in Russia is state-owned Rosneft. In other words, the main ones benefitting from the deal with Exxon would be Putin, his government officials, Exxon and Rosneft. In 2013, Putin was so enamored by the potential profit from such a lucrative partnership with Exxon he awarded Rex Tillerson the Order of Friendship, one of the highest honors Russia gives to foreign citizens.
But in 2014 after they invaded the Ukraine and annexed Crimea, the Obama Administration, and the EU imposed harsh economic sanctions on Russia, specifically on Russian’s oil and gas industry that forbid technology transfers. Exxon was told to halt all offshore drilling work with Rosneft by the end of September 2014. These sanctions couldn’t have come at a worse time for Russia as Exxon had just discovered oil in the Kara Sea. This means that Obama effectively stopped Putin’s potential billion-dollar windfall with one fell swoop. Russia has more than $8.2 trillion in untapped oil and gas particularly in the Artic but if sanctions are not lifted they’re facing a decline in oil and gas production in the coming years. The sanctions are slated to last through 2024. Putin faces not only loss of personal income, but given that oil and tax revenues fund half of Russia’s national budget, a long-term decline would have severe repercussions for the country, perhaps even the possibility of political instability. In other words, Putin’s continued dictatorship/rule in Russia would be severely compromised if these sanctions are not lifted. Russia and Exxon Mobil absolutely need each other. Rex Tillerson and Exxon Mobil have the rights to 63 million acres of Russian land and no way to recoup their investment.

This is why Russia bet on a reality star named Donald Trump, because whatever allegedly damaging information they had on him was enough to get him to nominate Tillerson, with the hope of having him confirmed to the post of Secretary of State with the ultimate goal of having the sanctions against Russia lifted.
But his supporters will say this is a false story.



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