As part of its continuing pressure campaign on the illegitimate Maduro regime in Venezuela, the United States has imposed sanctions on Rosneft Trading, SA and its Chairman Didier Casimiro.
Designated by Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, the Swiss incorporated, Russian-controlled brokerage firm is a subsidiary of Russia’s energy giant Rosneft.
Calling Rosneft Trading, SA “the primary broker of global deals for the sale and transport of Venezuela’s crude oil,” Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said in a statement that the company “has propped up the dictatorial Maduro, enabling his repression of the Venezuelan people. Maduro has destroyed Venezuela’s institutions, economy, and infrastructure, while enriching himself and his cronies, through his abuse of state power and his welcoming of malign support from Russia, as well as from Cuba, Iran, and China.”
The sanctions mean that all property and interest in property of Rosneft Trading and its chairman that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked or must be reported to OFAC.
At a press briefing, U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams called the new sanctions “very significant” and predicted that companies “all over the world in the oil sector [will] now move away from dealing with Rosneft Trading.”
Special Representative Abrams noted that the new sanctions “are part of a campaign of pressure to bring democracy back to Venezuela.” In recent years, the United States has ratcheted up financial and economic sanctions against the Maduro regime, targeting Venezuela’s energy, banking, and transportation sectors. Earlier in February, the United States added the state-owned airline CONVIASA and its fleet to OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List to further prevent the Maduro regime from profiting from its usurpation of state enterprises.
Special Representative Abrams said that the sanctions against Rosneft Trading are “another step in the policy of pressuring the Maduro regime to allow Venezuela to escape from its terrible crisis through free and fair presidential elections. There will be more steps and further pressure in the coming weeks and months,” he added. “The United States remains firmly committed to the people of Venezuela and to the cause of freedom there.”