US sanctions Russian entity to pressure Venezuela

CARACAS, Jan. 10, 2019 (Xinhua) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro during the presidential inauguration ceremony in Caracas, Venezuela, on Jan. 10, 2019. Nicolas Maduro was sworn in before the Supreme Court of Justice to begin a new six-year term on Thursday. (Xinhua/Andrea Romero/IANS)

Washington, March 13 (IANS) The US Department of Treasury has said that it has imposed sanctions against TNK Trading International S.A. (TTI), a subsidiary of Russian oil producer Rosneft, as the latest move to pressure Venezuela.

“TNK Trading International S.A. is another Rosneft subsidiary brokering the sale and transport of Venezuelan crude oil, which is subject to sanctions,” Xinhua news agency quoted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as saying in a statement on Thursday.

The sanction came amid increasing competition between the US and Russia over the Venezuela issue.

The Treasury blacklisted Rosneft Trading S.A. (RTSA), also a subsidiary of the Russian Rosneft Oil Company, and its President Didier Casimiro last month.

TTI, a trading company registered in Switzerland, and RTSA handled a large percentage of Venezuela’s oil exports in 2019.

In January 2020, TTI purchased nearly 14 million barrels of crude oil from Venezuela’s state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, according to the statement.

The statement noted that all property and interests in property of TTI that are in the United States are blocked.

Meanwhile, the Treasury also issued a general license that allows companies to wind down their transactions with RTSA or TTI through May 20.

The US has been pursuing a policy of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation against Venezulea’s incumbent Nicolas Maduro government in support of opposition leader Juan Guaido.

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