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US Sanctions Another Russian Company for Supporting Maduro Regime

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro delivers his annual state of the nation speech during a special session of the National Constituent Assembly, in Caracas, Venezuela, Jan. 14, 2020.

The United States imposed sanctions on another Russian state-controlled Rosneft Oil subsidiary for providing financial help to Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro regime.

Trading International S.A. (TNK), a Swiss-based unit of Rosneft that has been operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy, was directly involved in efforts to assist Rosneft Trading S.A. (RTSA) to evade U.S. sanctions, the U.S. government said Thursday.

“TNK Trading International S.A. is another Rosneft subsidiary brokering the sale and transport of Venezuelan crude oil,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “The Trump administration remains committed to targeting those who support the corrupt regime’s exploitation of Venezuela’s oil assets.”

TNK purchased nearly 14 million barrels of crude oil from Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) in January 2020 alone, U.S. officials said.

The measure against TNK follows U.S. sanctions against Rosneft Trading S.A. Feb. 18, 2020 on similar claims.

“The people of Venezuela, interim President Juan Guaido, and the democratically elected National Assembly need the continued support of our international partners,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “We call on the international community to join us in applying stronger pressure on Maduro and his corrupt former regime to relinquish its illegitimate hold on power in Venezuela.”

In January 2019, the U.S. recognized Guaido as the OPEC nation’s legitimate interim president and since then has increased its economic and diplomatic pressure to force the ousting of Maduro’s regime.

About 60 nations recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido last year as Venezuela’s legitimate leader and consider Maduro to be illegitimate.