June 19,2017

Press Contact:

Contact: Keith Chu (Wyden) 202-224-4515

Sean Bartlett (Cardin) 202-224-4651 

Wyden, Cardin Lead Bipartisan Call for Trump Administration to Enforce U.S. Sanctions Against Russian Oil Conglomerate Attempting to Take Control of Citgo

WASHINGTON Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Ben Cardin, D-Md., wrote to Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson today to express concerns regarding a transaction involving Russian oil producer Rosneft that could allow it to take control of U.S. oil company Citgo.

They were joined on the letter by Senators Marco Rubio, R-Fla. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

“A leading U.S. energy company, Citgo operates across 19 states, with 48 terminals, interstate oil and gas pipelines, and refineries,” the senators said. “Serious questions have been raised regarding the national security risk of Rosneft – a company with close ties to President Putin – assuming control of U.S. energy infrastructure.”

Currently, Rosneft is subject to U.S. sanctions due to Russia’s military invasion and illegal annexation of Crimea, Ukraine. Rosneft Executive Chairman Igor Sechin has also been sanctioned and is a close ally of President Putin. 

“The Treasury Department must immediately determine the likelihood of Rosneft acquiring a controlling stake in Citgo,” the senators said. “Reports suggest that a license could be required for Citgo to continue orderly operations should Rosneft take control. If that is the case, it would appear that, barring the license, the transaction would necessarily result in one or more sanctions violations.”

Read the full letter here.