On or shortly before June 21, ExxonMobil chief and future Trump Secretary of State Rex Tillerson receives the Order of Friendship medal from Vladimir Putin. The medal is awarded to foreigners who improve international relations with Russia.
Tillerson has bragged about his decades-long relationship with Putin, who he has known since 1999. Tillerson spent many years reshaping ExxonMobil’s foreign interests to do business with Russia and its state-owned energy company, Rosneft.
By the 1990s, Tillerson was overseeing many of Exxon’s foreign operations. He played a key role in Exxon’s involvement in the huge Sakhalin oil and natural gas project on Russia’s eastern coast. That was a warm-up for a $3.2 billion deal in which Exxon and Russian state-controlled Rosneft announced they would work together to explore for oil in Russia’s Arctic region.
In 2011, Tillerson flew to the Russian resort town of Sochi to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for the announcement. As news photographers recorded the scene, the men shook hands and smiled broadly at each other.WiscNews
Photograph: Public Domain