The US Government It will lift the sanctions that weigh on Russia’s largest oil company, Rosneft, when it definitively ceases operations in Venezuela and sells the assets it has in that country, the US special envoy for the Caribbean country, Elliott Abrams, explained Thursday.
“If Rosneft Trading (a subsidiary of Rosneft) has nothing to do with Venezuela, then sanctions based on its conduct in Venezuela will be withdrawn,” Abrams said in statements to the press.
The diplomat explained that Washington has not yet lifted the sanctions because it wants to wait for the Russian oil company, until now a faithful ally of Venezuela and Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), to complete the sale of all its assets and commercial operations.
“We will judge what is happening on the ground with Rosneft’s activities with Venezuelan oil. If the facts show that it is not involved, then the sanctions will be lifted,” he stressed.
This Saturday, Rosneft announced the cessation of its operations in Venezuela without offering explanations on the reasons for its decision; although the company’s spokesman, Mijaíl Leóntiev, told Interfax that this step was what was expected of a public company that wants to maintain its international position.
The pressure on Rosneft to abandon its business in Venezuela increased after the US in February impose sanctions against company subsidiaries.
Specifically, the US then hit Rosneft Trading and its director, Didier Casimiro, with sanctions; and in March, he also punished TNK Trading International (TTI), another Rosneft affiliate, for his alleged support for the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
Until now, Rosneft has been considered one of the most active corporations in Venezuela, where it has increased its activities and has become the great intermediary for Venezuelan crude in the face of sanctions imposed by the United States. to state oil company PDVSA.
With its sanctions on Rosneft, Washington has managed to further complicate the sale of Venezuelan crude in international markets, Caracas’ main source of income and foreign exchange.