U.S. Sanctions Russian Oil Brokerage Firm for Supporting Venezuelan Maduro Regime
Today, the United States sanctioned Rosneft Trading S.A., a Swiss-incorporated, Russian-owned oil brokerage firm, for operating in Venezuela’s oil sector. “Rosneft Trading”, the U.S. asserts, “has propped up the dictatorial Maduro, enabling his repression of the Venezuelan people” through the “sale and transport of Venezuela’s crude oil”.
Separate from today’s sanctions, Rosneft Oil Company was “already subject to certain restrictions” stemming from actions related to Russia’s “purported annexation of Crimea and its use of force in Ukraine.”
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin commented how “[t]he United States is determined to prevent the looting of Venezuela’s oil assets by the corrupt Maduro regime” including “Rosneft Trading S.A. and its president [for brokering] the sale and transport of Venezuelan crude oil”.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation released a statement in response stating: “The destructive sanctions policy of the United States is increasingly undermining the freedom of world trade, for which the Americans are verbally advocating, and increasing international tension.” Adding, “[the U.S.] did not and will not be able to influence the Russian line in international affairs, including interaction with the legitimate authorities of Venezuela, Syria, Iran or any other country.”
Today’s sanctions come as U.S. Diplomat and former Interim Secretary of State John Sullivan is in Russia meeting with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia discussing “pressing problems in bilateral relations.”