Rex W. Tillerson
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
5959 Las Colinas Blvd
Irving, TX 75039 April 19, 2012
Dear Mr. Tillerson:
We are writing to you on behalf of the Board of Directors and supporters of the American Russian-Speaking Association for Civil and Human Rights, a national nonprofit organization of Russian-speaking Americans that currently has representatives in 19 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. We are writing to inquire about the human rights implications of the recently signed ExxonMobil-Rosneft Strategic Cooperation Agreement.
Judging by the reports, this joint venture is very significant and large in terms of its economic impact. Our organization supports constructive cooperation between American and Russian businesses as a means of increasing economic prosperity of both countries. However, we are concerned about the poor human rights situation in Russia and lack of meaningful action by the Russian authorities to improve this situation. And Russian government is the principal stockholder of Rosneft. Therefore, ExxonMobil is going to be a major business partner of the Russian government.
Your company website states, in “Respecting Human Rights” section, that ExxonMobil has adopted the basic components of the Report of the United Nations Special Representative on Business and Human Rights John Ruggie. In this report, Dr. Ruggie calls for companies to take “proactive steps to understand how existing and proposed activities may affect human rights” and avoid complicity in human rights violations. Given that ExxonMobil will be investing and doing business in Russia on a large scale and in partnership with a company controlled by the Russian state, it would be consistent with ExxonMobil’s stated values to propose specific proactive steps in this regard that would help you avoid complicity in this problematic human rights situation. We look forward to hearing back from you about such specific steps, so that we can share your response with our Board of Directors and supporters.