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Rex Tillerson, Chief Executive of Exxon Mobil, is slated to attend an investment forum this week in Russia after a two-year absence following sanctions imposed on Russia because of the Ukraine crisis in 2014.
The forum is considered a centerpiece event in Russian business, at which investors seek the Kremlin’s blessing for their projects, and those on the guest list serve as an informal indicator for international interests in the projects.
Tillerson’s attendance is particularly noteworthy because he is considered a high-profile representative of business interests in the United States at time when Washington, D.C. continues to take a hardline stance on Russia’s sanction, after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and supported allies in Western Ukraine.
Attendance at the event declined due to the international incident, but the numbers appear to be on the increase for this year’s gathering. The Italian Prime Minister and the President of the European Union will both be in attendance.
For his part, Tillerson is expected to attend a session at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The keynote speaker for that session is Igor Sechin, who heads up the Russian state oil firm of Rosneft. It is presently not known if Tillerson will attend the forum that runs from June 16 to 18. Vladimir Putin will be attendance.
Related: Russia’s Oil Giants Feel The Crunch But Stay In The Black
Diplomats claim that businesses are eyeing Russia, should the sanctions be eased or lifted in the next year; and interest has been awakened by signs that the Russian economy may be making a comeback from its slump. Along with Tillerson, oil executives from BP, ENI, Schlumberger, and Total will also be in attendance.
The last time Tillerson was in Russia was last year when he met with Alexander Novak, the Russian Energy Minister.
By Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com
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Lincoln Brown is the former News and Program Director for KVEL radio in Vernal, Utah. He hosted “The Lincoln Brown Show” and was penned a…