Rosneft under fire over Venezuelan crude purchases

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo targeted Rosneft earlier this week for defying US sanctions on Venezuela, but major shareholder BP has escaped without a warning.

“I haven’t read it, I haven’t heard it, so I really wouldn’t be able to comment,” BP CEO Bob Dudley said on the sidelines of CERAWeek. “I did not actually hear about that.”

Earlier this week, Mike Pompeo accused Rosneft of defying US sanctions against Caracas by continuing to buy crude oil from PDVSA, which is its joint venture partner in a local operation.

The Russian company responded by saying it was engaged in business and not politics, adding its contracts for the purchase of Venezuelan crude were signed before the sanctions against PDVSA were enforced. What’s more, Rosneft said it will evaluate the consequences of Pompeo’s statement, TASS reported yesterday and would defend its rights if it finds these have been adverse.

The US Secretary of State on Monday said Russia and Cuba were to blame for the crisis in Venezuela because of their continued support for the Maduro government.

 “This story is not complete without acknowledging the central role Cuba and Russia have played and continue to play in undermining the democratic dreams of the Venezuelan people and their welfare,” Reuters quoted Pompeo as saying.

 “Moscow, like Havana, continues to provide political cover to the Maduro regime, while pressuring countries to disregard the democratic legitimacy of the interim president Guaido,” the US Secretary of State also said.

The part of his statement that rattled Rosneft went as follows: “Russia’s state-owned company, Rosneft, continues to purchase crude oil cargoes from PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, in defiance of US sanctions. And, Rosneft’s CEO, Igor Sechin, continues to throw a lifeline to the regime.” 

RT

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