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US sanctions against Russian bank working with Venezuela are illegitimate, says Moscow

March 13, 16:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, March 13 /TASS/. The sanctions the US imposed against Russia’s Eurofinance Mosnarbank for its cooperation with Venezuela are illegitimate, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a commentary on Wednesday.

"Washington has decided to impose new sanctions on Russia, adding to the list a Russian bank that helps the Venezuelan government work with its foreign partners. The United States, which claims that Nicolas Maduro is an illegitimate leader, forgets that he is the democratically elected president of a sovereign state and that it is illegal to adopt sanctions outside the framework of the UN Security Council," the ministry said.

The Foreign Ministry doubts the effectiveness of such steps of the US authorities.

"This ban has delivered yet another blow to the US national currency, to global trust in it and to its status as a tool of international settlements. Washington seems to be doing its utmost to destroy the global trust in the US dollar and to encourage the world to stop using the US currency," the statement said.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the threats subsequently made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo against Russian state oil company Rosneft for its cooperation with Venezuela are pointless as well.

"Sanctions were imposed on the Russian oil company back in 2014, but it continued to work productively nevertheless, whereas its former American partners, which Washington forced to curtail their relations with Rosneft, have suffered huge losses," the ministry noted.

"We urge the United States to rethink this policy, to stop imposing bans on foreign companies and banks and to start working together under UN leadership to help stabilize Venezuela on the basis of international law," the ministry concluded.

Situation around Eurofinance bank

On Monday, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the Russian-Venezuelan joint bank Eurofinance Mosnarbank.

The Treasury said that it will continue to escalate the use of sanctions against the illegitimate regime of former President Nicolas Maduro, whose regime "has profited off of the suffering of the Venezuelan people,"

On January 23, Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido proclaimed himself as the country's acting president. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro described it as a coup attempt and announced severing diplomatic relations with the United States. On January 28, the US imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA oil company.

Guaido was recognized as interim president by the Lima Group countries (except for Mexico), as well as by Albania, Georgia, the United States, and the Organization of American States. Several EU countries came forward with support for the Venezuelan parliament and expressed hope for new elections to resolve the crisis. Maduro was supported by Russia, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey.

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