MOSCOW – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Riabkov said the sanctions that the US could impose on the Russian company Rosneft for operations with Venezuelan oil would be illegitimate.
“Not at all,” Riabkov said in answering a question from the press about whether Moscow considered the possible sanctions against the Russian company illegitimate.
On September 10, Washington’s envoy for Venezuela, Elliot Abrams, threatened Rosneft with sanctions for working in Venezuela.
The vice foreign minister emphasized that Russia is not afraid of any restrictions and recalled that Washington had already imposed Rosneft sanctions before in 2014 after Crimea split off Ukraine and rejoined Russia after holding a self-determination referendum supported by more than 96% of the population
The United States seeks the exit of oil companies from other countries in Venezuela, while allowing its own companies to carry out operations in the Latin American country that has immense oil reserves.
At the end of July, the Washington Government authorized Chevron and other companies such as Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Weatherford International, to continue operations with Venezuela.
From the Russian oil company Rosneft called “unfair competition” the threat of sanctions by the White House that, they said, aims to favor US companies in the world market.
US special envoy to Venezuela, Elliot Abrams, told reporters earlier Tuesday that “at some point, we will have to explore the possibilities [of] which retaliatory measures we can apply to Rosneft.”
Oil accounts for more than 95% of Venezuela’s export revenue and Washington has warned trading houses and other buyers about possible sanctions if they prop up Caracas.
The US and some Western governments have recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s rightful head of state and are seeking to oust the President Nicolas Maduro.
Moscow is one of Maduro’s closest allies and has provided military support to his government as well as billions of dollars in loans and equipment.