The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned a subsidiary of Russian state-run oil company Rosneft for operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy.
Rosneft Trading S.A. was added to OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List) on Tuesday, along with the company’s chairman of the board of directors and president, Didier Casimiro. Rosneft Trading S.A. is a Swiss-incorporated subsidiary of Rosneft created to assist Rosneft in carrying out its foreign projects.
The decision to sanction Rosneft Trading S.A. comes amid heavy OFAC pressure on Venezuela and disputed president Nicolás Maduro, whose regime the United States has declared illegitimate. “Rosneft Trading S.A. and its president brokered the sale and transport of Venezuelan crude oil,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a news release. “The United States is determined to prevent the looting of Venezuela’s oil assets by the corrupt Maduro regime.”
According to Treasury, Casimiro, on behalf of Rosneft Trading S.A., has held meetings with Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) officials that have involved assessing projects and opportunities to strengthen strategic relationships between the companies. PdVSA is Venezuela’s state-owned oil company and was sanctioned by the United States in January 2019.
PdVSA, in a translated statement, said it “deeply rejects” the United States’ actions toward Rosneft Trading S.A. Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the country “categorically does not accept unilateral restrictive measures by which the United States, striving for global hegemony, is trying to subjugate the whole world to its will,” according to a translated statement.
Rosneft Trading S.A., along with its parent Rosneft, were already subject to certain OFAC restrictions under Ukraine-/Russia-related Executive Order 13662.
Treasury says it will consider lifting sanctions “for those who take concrete, meaningful, and verifiable actions to support democratic order in Venezuela.”