US Sanctions Russia’s Rosneft for Interfering With Its Economic War on Venezuela

Sanctioned Rosneft for working with Venezuela, next is sanctioning those who work with Rosneft


Related: This Is How Russia Keeps Venezuela Exporting Oil Despite US Sanctions

The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on the trading arm of Rosneft, Russia’s state oil champion, for transporting Venezuelan crude in violation of US sanctions, ramping up its pressure campaign to oust Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro from power.

“As the primary broker of global deals for the sale and transport of Venezuela’s crude oil, Rosneft Trading has propped up the dictatorial Maduro, enabling his repression of the Venezuelan people,” said Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state. He added that Mr Maduro had benefited from “malign support” from Russia, Cuba, Iran and China.

A senior US administration official said on Tuesday that the measure “not only goes after the US-based assets but also stands as a prohibition worldwide”. The official said anyone engaging with Rosneft Trading, the Geneva-based subsidiary, risked being sanctioned by the US.

Rosneft Trading did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The US also designated Didier Casimiro, Rosneft Trading’s board chairman and president. A London-based spokesman for Mr Casimiro were not immediately able to comment.

Another senior US official said the measure was the first in a series of actions that was “a demonstration of the president’s commitment to securing a democratic transition in Venezuela”, referring to the Trump administration’s public focus on pushing Mr Maduro out of power.

The US and numerous other countries back Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who declared himself the rightful interim president in January, citing abuses by Mr Maduro in last year’s presidential election. Mr Trump made a public show of support earlier this month by bringing Mr Guaidó as a guest to his annual State of the Union address.

Rosneft declined to comment. Shares in Rosneft, in which BP holds a 19.75 per cent stake, fell as much as 5.2 per cent on the Moscow stock exchange on news of the sanctions.

Jorge Arreaza, Venezuela’s foreign minister, tweeted that the Rosneft sanctions are “arbitrary”, “perverse” and “violate the right to free trade and free enterprise”.

Rosneft’s pivotal position as a supplier of gasoline to Venezuela and a facilitator of oil exports has made it a lifeline for Mr Maduro’s government. Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin, a longtime ally of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, has been a frequent visitor to Caracas, and the Kremlin-controlled oil company is thought to be making large profits from the relationship. [Actually, it’s just getting its loan back.]

A US official said more than half the oil coming out of Venezuela was now handled by Rosneft Trading, and that the US sanctions were a reaction to Rosneft’s “increasingly central role” in Venezuela.

A US official alleged that oil traders were engaging in deception and ship-to-ship transfers “in a direct effort to change the identity of the oil and hide it from purchasers”.

A third US official said Rosneft Trading had facilitated shipping 2m barrels of oil to west Africa in January, and last summer provided a shipment of 1m barrels of crude oil destined for Asia.

“This action shall have a significant impact on the Maduro regime,” said the third official.

Venezuela produced 733,000 barrels a day in January, according to secondary sources relied on by Opec to assess members’ production, equivalent to less than 1 per cent of world supply.

“We’re confident global markets will remain stable,” said a US official.

Maximilian Hess, head of political risk at AKE Group, said: “Any sanctions activity on any part of the Rosneft group will impact its operations, and cause a lot of headaches for counterparties. Sanctions just affecting Rosneft Trading will impact refiners in Europe dealing with the firm.”

But Mr Hess said he did not think the measures would affect other Rosneft projects abroad, such as its work in Kurdistan or the Zohr gasfields. Rosneft was already under sectoral sanctions that limit debt financing to 60 days, and Mr Hess said the market had grown used to that, which could limit the shock.

Mr Hess added that Venezuela’s debt to Rosneft had fallen sharply in recent months as the Russian company had sought to recoup its money. From $4.8bn in late 2017 it has fallen to $800m at the end of the third quarter, with Rosneft set to announce its full-year results tomorrow.

Source: Financial Times

  1. cechas vodobenikov says

    the terrorist rogue nation’s desperation is characteristic of all empires as they crumble—-the USA is predicted to disintegrate in less than 10 years!

  2. XRGRSF says

    Oh, joy, the U$ continues to sanction itself out of business. Keep up the good work, Donald, and may you have 4 more years.

  3. cechas vodobenikov says

    ignored is that sanctions r counter productive, something obvious to the casual observer. the US “think tank”, the Hudson Institute, evaluated more than 200 sanctions and concluded as much…the best that can be said about US sanctions is that they reflect the amerikan character—“mean and bitter” (David Riesman)…any people that do not accept amerikan ugliness and imperialism exposes the insecure (Narcissistic)amerikan national character and must be punished…fully examined by Richard Sennet–‘fall of the public man’, Christopher Lasch—‘the culture of narcissism’ and more recently, TWENGE & Campbell, ‘the narcissism epidemic’

  4. Chris Chuba says

    And what did Venezuela ever do to us, kill our soldiers in Fl, blow up our buildings? No wait that was Saudi Arabia.

    1. tapatio says

      Venezuela has oil that Washington’s Jewish masters desperately want to own.

  5. jm74 says

    Meanwhile all of those organizations such as the UN are getting well paid and do nothing to stop the US assault on Venezuela. Trump has offshore assets maybe they should be targeted; hit the pocket where it really hurts.

    1. CHUCKMAN says

      Actually the threat to the UN from the US is in its NOT being paid, paid what they are owed.

      Trump owes a billion dollars in back dues and he quit UNESCO and UNRWA (relief agency for Palestinians).

      That’s how he handles it when they say something he doesn’t like. Picks up his marbles and goes home.

      Of course, the US being the richest nation bears the highest dues. So it can really hurt them.

      1. Garry Compton says

        The UN has been back-stabbing the people of the world for decades. The Balkans, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East has shown that the UN is the biggest traitor the world has seen, with the US tied for 1st place – also. What has happened to Palestine, is the perfect example. It was all a big Con Job , brought to you by the Zionist NWO.

      2. jm74 says

        Isn’t it illegal to operate being insolvent? If they haven’t the funds to operate successfully or undergo their mandates then they should close down. There are available means to make the US pay and if they refuse then stand them down, suspension until all fees are paid. There must be a clause in the Charter to cover non payment.

        1. CHUCKMAN says

          Sorry, you’ve got that a bit wrong.

          They are not “insolvent,” but they do have problems with their budgets.The total budget is on the order of $50 billion per year. All members pay dues according to their wealth.

          No, there are no means to “make” the US pay, other than threatening their privileges or rights.

          And just what do you think would happen if the UN threatened America under Trump?

          By the way, the US also hurts the UN by arbitrarily not issuing diplomatic visas sometimes for visits by foreign diplomats or staff to New York headquarters.

          It is obligated by treaty to promptly issue such visas. That was part of the deal for getting the headquarters placed in New York.

          But it doesn’t sometimes. Who can correct them? There’s no police to call or court to sue in.

          It’s the same as arbitrarily canceling Iran nuclear agreement or INF nuclear weapons treaty.

          The US behaves very high-highhandedly anymore.

          Most would agree it’s better to have them still in the UN, even with not having paid full dues, than having them leave.

          The wealthy and powerful can always get away with acting like assholes.

          It used to be in Britain a couple of centuries ago, that some high Lords would order things from merchants and then refuse to pay. What could the poor merchants do? Nothing.

          1. Brion Adair says

            America has always been arrogant and high handed. Always failed to respect treaties.Just ask the Native Americans.

            You think this all just happened under Trump?

  6. CHUCKMAN says

    “The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on the trading arm of Rosneft, Russia’s state oil champion, for transporting Venezuelan crude”

    The arrogance and pretension here are stunning.

    Does Trump’s Monkey House gang think they can run the planet on sanctions?

    It won’t be long until sanctions are Washington’s chief output – studying, monitoring, applying, enforcing on a hundred different nations and dozens of companies and departments in each.

    I thought conservatives hated bureaucracy?

    But Trump’s guys are in the business of creating it,

  7. David Chu says

    Hey Anti-Empire, don’t overuse too much bolding in your posts. It makes it harder and more irritating to read!

    1. CHUCKMAN says


      Looks amateurish too.

    2. Mary E says

      Get over it!

      1. David Chu says

        Yes, dear. Anything else, Mary E?

  8. Mary E says

    Russia,, slowly but certainly, is making wide inroads into the world economy as well as ‘save’ Venezuela from the US and its horrific plans to take the country over via their puppet Guaido…the fact that the Venzuelan oil company has moved its headquarters to Russia has made a huge positive difference in what situation it could be in….the US is in the very unfortuate position of being the badass of the world – and the world isn’t taking it any more! Washington is now a laughing stock – and who is surprised!? They have made some very very bad self defeating mistakes – internally as well as internationally.
    Bye Bye Miss American Pie ( in the face)!

  9. Brion Adair says

    One good think about Trump is that under him the mask of “American Exceptionalism” and “America as a force for good in the world” has fallen off.

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