Energy companies push back against sanctions amid expansion goals in Russia

06/10/2014 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

ExxonMobil, BP and Total are looking to expand in Russia by strengthening their partnerships with Russian firms, despite facing a calculated risk amid threats of Western sanctions against the country, observers say. The companies are working to block further sanctions by lobbying the Obama administration and discussing the issue at shareholders' meetings. Cliff Kupchan, a Russia analyst at the Eurasia Group, noted that the companies are placing "a hedged bet that the Russian energy sector will escape sanctions and the Ukraine crisis will quiet down."

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