Russian oil giant Rosneft announced that it is terminating operations in Venezuela and will be selling its assets in that country.
"Today, Rosneft entered into an agreement with a company 100% owned by the Government of the Russian Federation to sell shares and cease its participation in all projects in Venezuela, including shares in Petromonagas, Petroperija, Boqueron, Petromiranda and Petrovictoria, in oil field services and trading operations," Rosneft said in a statement published on its website.
The Russian government confirmed the deal. As a result of the sale, the Russian government will transfer to one of Rosneft’s subsidiaries 9.6% of Rosneft’s shares .
At the end of February, the United States added Rosneft Trading SA, the Swiss subsidiary of Rosneft, and its chairman Didier Casimiro to the sanctions list for "material assistance" to the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA. Washington has repeatedly accused Rosneft and its subsidiaries of supplying Venezuelan oil to foreign markets.
As reported by Reuters, Rosneft helped the Venezuelan authorities circumvent U.S. sanctions prohibiting the sale of oil. According to the news agency, a special scheme was developed for this, according to which the Venezuelan company PDVSA billed Rosneft for oil at significantly reduced prices. The Russian company then sold oil to final buyers for the full cost. One of the largest buyers of Venezuelan oil, the Indian company Reliance Industries, was involved in this scheme.
Funds received from the sale of Venezuelan oil were transferred to accounts in Russian banks and used by Maduro's government.