The Trump administration announced significant new sanctions on Tuesday targeting Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, for helping Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro circumvent U.S. sanctions. Specifically, the sanction targets Rosneft Trading SA, a unit of Russia’s state-owned oil giant Rosneft, as well as company’s executive Didier Casimiro, over the company’s actions in Venezuela, senior administration official said in call with reporters.
The US accused Rosneft of propping up Venezuela’s oil sector, the admin official said, characterizing the company as the “primary culprit” of a campaign to evade Washington’s pressure campaign on the Maduro regime.
As the US further details, the network of deception sometimes involves transferring oil to new ship before sale, typically to Asia. Occasionally, ships will also change their names, or lie about source of oil. As McClatchy details, “the administration has accused Rosneft of sending tankers to Venezuelan ports without their tracking systems on — a violation of international law and a lifeline from sanctions on Venezuela’s own state-run oil company, PDVSA, that has allowed Maduro to indirectly sell oil to China and India. Officials also said that Rosneft was orchestrating a strategy of transferring Venezuelan oil in international waters for shipment to Asia and West Africa.”
US officials said that sanctions would hit Rosneft unit, as well as Casimiro’s U.S. assets but stand as worldwide prohibition, and warned that the new U.S. sanctions will affect “anyone engaging in activity” with Rosneft Trading S.A.
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