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ExxonMobil and Russia settle tax row

Moscow (AFP) – ExxonMobil and the Russian government have settled a long-running tax dispute of more than $600 million, the Russian finance ministry said Thursday.

In 2015 the American oil giant, then chaired by the current US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, challenged the tax bill on its Sakhalin-1 offshore project in Russia, in which it holds a 30 percent stake, saying it overpaid the Russian taxman.

“An amicable agreement was signed on September 12 between Russia and ExxonMobil, ” the finance ministry said in a statement sent to AFP.

“The parties have reached a mutually beneficial compromise.”

The Russian newspaper Kommersant, citing sources close to the deal, said that Exxonmobil withdrew its financial demands in exchange for a share in a major oil exploration project. 

Tillerson stepped down as chief executive of Exxon in 2016 to serve in the Trump administration, but his nomination was immediately contentious given his history of ties to the Kremlin.

In July, the US Treasury imposed a $2 million fine on ExxonMobil for failing to comply with sanctions against Russia in 2014 when Tillerson led the oil giant.

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