the tightening noose of US sanctions, Venezuela’s state oil company
PDVSA is reportedly moving bank accounts of its joint ventures with
foreign companies to Russia’s Gazprombank, Reuters reports, citing
documents and sources.
of PDVSA’s joint ventures with US-based Chevron Corp, France's
Total SA, Norway's Equinor and other projects with foreign companies
have reportedly been instructed to deposit their payments into
Russia-based bank accounts following the latest crippling round of
Washington’s sanctions, Reuters reports.
on January 28, the fresh round of sanctions are aimed at cutting the
government of Nicholas Maduro off from oil proceeds, after Washington
recognized the self-proclaimed ‘interim’ president Juan Guaido
and claimed that Venezuela’s state funds and profits should be
controlled by the ‘legitimate government.’
state oil giant has also been urging its foreign partners to make
formal decisions on whether they want to bow to US pressure and bail
out or preserve stakes in the joint projects and continue their
business in Venezuela, the agency reports. Besides dozens of joint
ventures with Western companies, PDVSA also has many projects with
Russian companies and Chinese investors, who, according to some
assessments, might lose the most from US economic pressure on the
Latin American country.
addition to $7 billion of the assets of PDVSA –and of its US
Citgo– that Washington seized “on behalf of Venezuelan
people,” the US expects its sanctions to affect some $11bn-worth of
the country’s exports in 2019. Venezuela is home to the world’s
largest oil reserves, and oil sales account for 98 percent of export
earnings and as much as 50 percent of its GDP.
the Trump administration’s hopes that Maduro's government would
quickly run out of cash and crumble under pressure from the
opposition and the US-led international ‘regime change’ endeavor,
the state company has vowed to diversify its sales and reroute
exports to customers, particularly those in Europe and Asia, who are
not afraid of Washington’s unilateral sanctions.