The Latest: Exxon sues to stop $2M fine for sanctions breach

FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2016, file photo, ExxonMobil CEO and chairman Rex W. Tillerson gives a speech at the annual Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Treasury Department hit Exxon Mobil Corp. with a $2 million fine on July 20, 2017, for violating Russia sanctions while Tillerson was the oil company’s CEO. Treasury said in a statement that Exxon under Tillerson’s leadership had shown “reckless disregard” for sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Russian entities in 2014 over Russia’s annexation of Crimea. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the United States punishing Exxon Mobil for violating U.S. sanctions on Russia with a $2 million fine (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

Exxon Mobil is suing the U.S. government to stop a $2 million fine on the oil giant for violating U.S. sanctions on Russia.

Exxon is being fined for signing contracts with a Russian oil mogul who was on a U.S. blacklist. The company is pointing to comments from Treasury Department representatives who had said that the sanctions barred Americans from dealing with the oil mogul himself and not the Russian government-owned oil company he ran.

The Texas-based company says it was following “authoritative and specific guidance” from the Obama administration and that now the Treasury Department is trying to change the rules “retroactively” a year later.

Exxon is suing the Treasury Department and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

___

10:30 a.m.

The Treasury Department says it is slapping Exxon Mobil Corp. with a $2 million fine for violating Russia sanctions while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the oil company’s CEO.

The U.S. says Exxon violated the sanctions in May 2014 when two subsidiaries signed deals with Igor Sechin. Sechin is the chairman of Russian oil giant Rosneft and is on a U.S. blacklist over Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

The Treasury Department says Exxon showed “reckless disregard” for sanctions by dealing with a person on that blacklist and that top Exxon executives knew Sechin was blacklisted when they did business with him. The U.S. says Exxon caused “significant harm” to the sanctions program.

When Tillerson was CEO, he said Exxon didn’t support sanctions generally because it found them usually ineffective.

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