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Royal Dutch Shell and U.S. Sanctions on Russia

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Shell CEO Ben van Beurden bows to President Putin during a meeting held on 18 April 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 10.44.49By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell directors must be feeling anxious again.

For some years Shell continued to trade with Iran despite U.S. sanctions and engaged in machinations in an attempt to disguise what was going on. 

Today, President Obama escalated sanctions against Russia, targeting in particular Russian energy giant Rosneft and Gazprombank, the financial arm of Gazprom.

Rosneft and Gazprom are controlled by the Putin regime and both have important business dealings with Shell.

Shell’s future depends to some extent on maintaining good relations with the Russians. 

This is why Ben van Beurden, the Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell Plc was bowing and scraping when he had an audience with Putin on Good Friday. 

On the other hand, bearing in mind the size of Shell’s assets in America, RDS will also be fearful of upsetting the U.S. authorities if it decides to once again ignore or circumnavigate U.S.  sanctions. 

Obama Widens Sanctions Against Russia in Ukraine Face-Off: New York Times 16 July 2014

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