The Kremlin considers illegal US sanctions against Rosneft's subsidiary Rosneft Trading SA. This was stated by spokesman for the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov. According to him, the restrictions imposed for the company’s work in the oil sector of Venezuela will not affect relations between Moscow and Caracas.
“Such restrictions, which we consider illegal from the point of view of international law, can in no way affect our bilateral relations with Venezuela, on the contrary, they are developing and will continue to develop,” Peskov said.
Sanctions against Rosneft Trading and Chairman of the Board of Directors Didier Kasimiro were imposed by the US Treasury on the evening of February 18, Moscow time. The imposition of restrictions is explained by cooperation with the Venezuelan PDVSA, against which a number of US sanctions apply and work with which is prohibited under US law.
The Russian Embassy in Washington called them an example of unfair competition.
“The United States does not stop efforts to spin up the sanctioned flywheel against Russian enterprises in world markets. This time they are trying to oust our economic operators from Venezuela, while companies of their American jurisdiction continue to operate in this country. This is another clear example of unfair competition, ”the diplomatic mission said on Facebook.
Also, the embassy pointed to the inadmissibility of extraterritorial sanctions. Diplomats emphasized that Russia calls for dialogue between all political forces in Venezuela.
“The extraterritorial application of national law is unacceptable. Russia invariably advocates an inclusive dialogue between all significant Venezuelan political forces without destructive outside interference, ”Russian diplomats stated.
Commenting on the imposition of sanctions, the Russian Foreign Ministry on February 18 said that the number of attempts to put pressure on Russia since 2011 has reached 80.
“The number of US attempts to put pressure on Russia by creating obstacles to foreign economic relations and refusing to issue American visas has reached 80 since 2011. Our position on sanctions is known. Russia categorically does not accept unilateral restrictive measures by which the US, striving for global hegemony, is trying to subjugate the whole world to its will, ”the website of the Foreign Ministry says.
The United States seeks to weaken Russia's economic position in Venezuela, Oleg Morozov, member of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, is convinced.
“There is no explanation, except that the US wants to gain a competitive advantage and weaken our economic influence in this country. There are no other explanations here. It all looks very bad. This behavior is becoming a kind of trend in American foreign policy, ”he said in an interview with RT.
According to Morozov, the more unilateral sanctions the United States imposes, the more resistance they will meet.
“Act of legal arbitrariness”
Rosneft Trading SA was listed on the SDN, which means blocking its assets in the United States and preventing American citizens and companies from entering into any transactions with it without permission.
Rosneft Trading is a trading company engaged in the purchase and sale of oil. According to Forbes, it ranks third in the list of major buyers of Russian oil. It is wholly owned by Rosneft’s parent.
According to the position of the American side, Kashimiro played an important role in the work of the Venezuelan oil sector, organizing meetings with the state-owned company PDVSA and the country's leadership, strengthening cooperation.
According to the representative of the American administration, a general license will be issued to the countries and partner companies of Rosneft Trading so that they complete all transactions in 90 days. The Finance Ministry claims that there is “sufficient supply” in the oil markets and are convinced that they will “remain stable”.
Rosneft itself called these sanctions an “act of legal arbitrariness” and emphasized their illegality. The company noted that they are working in accordance with local and international law.
Rosneft implements projects in Venezuela in strict accordance with international and national laws. In the course of implementing its projects, the company carries out exclusively commercial activities, acting in the interests of shareholders, and does not pursue political goals, ”the Rosneft statement said.
The company emphasized that the contracts with the Venezuelan side were concluded even before the imposition of US sanctions, and therefore Rosneft does not violate the "US unlawful restrictions that have been repeatedly recognized by the US regulator."
“The sanctions against RTSA are arbitrary, selective, since other international companies, including American ones, carry out similar activities in Venezuela, and the US regulator does not make any complaints against them,” Rosneft emphasized.
The company noted that the US Treasury did not provide evidence of a violation of the law. Rosneft assured that after examining all the documents, it would consider options for legal protection.
Venezuelan PDVSA condemned the sanctions. According to the company, the US sanctions policy has the goal of manipulating prices in the global oil market.
“The US unilateral sanctions policy is directed against companies that are competitive in the global market, such as Rosneft, in order to influence prices, control or eliminate the main players and, as a result, have control over the global oil market,” RIA Novosti quoted PDVSA as the statement. .
Opposing the work of Russian companies in Venezuela, the United States seeks to complicate the situation of the legitimate president Nicolas Maduro, noted the first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots Konstantin Zatulin.
“The United States is waging an undeclared war against Venezuela. While this is an economic war. But she is political. This is an attempt to oust the incumbent President Maduro - the sanctions imposed by the United States, attempts to use the gold reserves of Venezuela and so on. In line with this is the attempt to impose sanctions on Russian companies, ”he concluded in a conversation with RT.