"As its interests deepen in Russia, Exxon also stands to profit from the U.S. effort to fast-track oil and gas exports to 'stick it' to Putin."
"As tensions mount and U.S. lawmakers push for stiffer sanctions on Russia for its role in the Ukraine crisis, oil giant ExxonMobil wants no part of it.
On the contrary, America's second-largest public company recently deepened its ties to Russia and its vast energy deposits with a new natural gas export venture and by providing Russian President Vladimir Putin with enthusiastic—and very public—support.
The incongruity of Exxon's business-as-usual approach in Russia while U.S. officials talk of punishing Putin highlights a reality that politicians and the public tend to overlook: Corporate interests and the needs of the nation can—and do—sometimes diverge. Barring legal prohibitions, Exxon and other public companies are duty-bound to put shareholder interests first."