The transnational oil corporation ExxonMobil demonstrated over the weekend the U.S. and EU sanctions imposed on Russia are primarily for political theater.

ExxonMobil is headquartered in Irving, Texas.

ExxonMobil signed a lucrative contract with Russian oil company Rosneft in 2011. The crude in an Arctic reservoir the size of Moscow is estimated to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Over the last decade, ExxonMobil has invested $10 billion in operations based in Russia.

[ad]It remains to be seen how the sanctions will impact other transnational operations. Coca Cola, Ford, General Motors, and other corporations are heavily invested in the country.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimated that U.S. exports of goods and services to Russia in 2011 totaled more than $10 billion.

Large corporations may not feel much of a pinch due to the politically motivated sanctions, but small companies will.

Following a retaliatory move by the Russian government in response to the sanctions — last week the state announced it will stop importing food from the West — small farmers in Europe began to suffer the economic consequences.

Concerns about the adverse impact of sanctions are rising in Germany, Britain, Italy, France and elsewhere in Europe, primarily in regard to the energy industry.

“We are not the U.S., we don’t have shale gas as they do, so any move to sanction them [Russia] would hurt our companies a lot,” EU industry commissioner Antonio Tajani told the Financial Times in April.


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