Rosneft has responded to the accusations voiced by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the Russian company is buying oil from Venezuela in contravention of the sanctions. The response was published on the official Rosneft website.
“Rosneft is assessing the consequences of the statements made by US officials, and if damage is identified, it will seek to protect its rights in accordance with the standards of international law,” the document states.
The Russian oil company emphasizes that it is not involved in politics but rather in “exclusively commercial activity in the interests of its shareholders”, and that its operations in Venezuela are proceeding “in accordance with international law” as part of contracts signed long before the US imposed its “unilateral sanction restrictions”.
Rosneft also comments that the US sanctions have caused damage primarily to American companies such as Chevron, ExxonMobil and other industry leaders. The Russian company speculates that the ultimate goal of the sanctions on Venezuela’s energy sector could be to limit the country’s shipments to India and China in order to monopolize the market in favor of specific industry players with ties to the US administration. The document claims that this appraisal of the situation is backed by “industry analysts”.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently said that Rosneft was “continuing to buy oil from PDVSA, the Venezuelan state company, contrary to US sanctions”, without clarifying the quantities in question.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later commented on the situation, saying that the US’s demands that Russia stop buying oil from Venezuela, alongside its demands to stop shipping Venezuelan oil to Cuba, are contrary to international law.
“Recently Mike Pompeo accused Rosneft of violating the American sanctions against the Venezuelan oil company and demanded that it stop buying oil from this Venezuelan company. How can all of this be explained?” Lavrov said, adding that the US’s “bad example is contagious”.
“Guaido, who was declared acting president of Venezuela by the US vice president, has already said that Venezuela must stop selling oil to Cuba, for example. How does this align with international law? Not at all,” he added.