April 16th, 2012

CREF Chairman Ivlev on the implications of the Exxon-Rosneft alliance

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson (left) and Russian Prime Minister Putin (GETTY IMAGES)

Pavel Ivlev, founder and chairman of Committee for Russian Economic Freedom, released the following statement today on the Exxon-Rosneft alliance:

Through today’s agreement with Exxon, Rosneft has finally managed to give an aura of legitimacy to its theft of assets stolen from Yukos and its shareholders, including hundreds of American investors, as well as its CEO, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who languishes in a Russian prison for crimes he did not commit.

Perhaps more than any other company, Exxon understands the pitfalls of conducting business in Russia, and while it is willing to assume the risks, the company must also seek opportunities to advocate for the pro-business reforms needed to make Russia a safer, freer place to invest and conduct business.

As it becomes a key partner to a Kremlin-run concern, Exxon can either play a formative role in pushing for much-needed rule of law protections in Russia or it will bear responsibility for abetting the Putin regime as it launders its ill-gotten gains and seeks to expand its personal wealth at the expense of the Russian people.

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