WASHINGTON, February 18. /TASS/. The United States introduces sanctions against Rosneft Trading, S.A and its President Didier Casimiro linked to sales of oil from Venezuela, a high-ranking official of the US Administration said on Tuesday.
"Today the Treasury Department has taken action against the Russian oil brokerage firm Rosneft Trading, S.A and its President Didier Casimiro for brokering the sale of Venezuelan oil globally on behalf of the illegitimate [Nicolas] Maduro regime," she said.
Rosneft Trading "actively attempted to evade US sanctions," the official added.
Rosneft has not yet been available for comments. Sanctions against Rosneft Trading, S.A. do not apply to the parent company.
Assets of Rosneft Trading, S.A and its President Didier Casimiro in the United States will be blocked in view of Washington’s decision to impose sanctions on the company, the official added.
"As a result of today’s actions, all property and interest in property of Rosneft Trading, S.A. and Didier Casimiro in the United States <…> will be blocked," the official said.
The United States will provide 90 days for countries and companies to complete their transactions with Rosneft Trading, she added.
The United States informed Russia in advance of its intention to impose sanctions on Rosneft Trading, S.A., and its president, Didier Casimiro, in connection with the sale of oil from Venezuela, as specified by the interlocutor.
"I would only add that US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday in Munich, and they discussed this. And the US ambassador in Moscow John Sullivan yesterday met with the Minister of Finance Siluanov, to discuss this," the moderator said.
Interaction with Russia
The United States will continue to engage with Russia on Venezuela, despite sanctions against Rosneft Trading, S.A., a high ranking US official announced on Tuesday, during a telephone briefing for journalists.
According to the latter, the Secretary of State Michael Pompeo made it clear that the Russian presence in Venezuela is not welcomed by the people of Venezuela, and gave Russia a warning with this specific action. He added that the US would continue to work with Russia, in order to convey their concern about the continued support for a non-viable regime, while at the same time offering a way out of the situation, if Russia seeks a constructive cooperation for the sake of a more democratic future for Venezuela.
The situation in Venezuela escalated on January 23, 2019, after opposition leader Juan Guaido, whose appointment to the post of speaker of the parliament two days earlier was canceled by the Supreme Court, declared himself acting president. The United States recognized him as the interim head of state as joined by the countries of the Lima Group (with the exception of Mexico), the Organization of American States and most countries of the European Union.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called the incident an attempted coup and announced the severance of diplomatic relations with the United States. Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria and Turkey spoke out in his support.