Russian oil giant Rosneft has lashed out at Reuters, calling the agency’s claims the company helped Venezuela avoid US sanctions “informational sabotage” and promising to work towards banning it in its home country.
In its exclusive piece on Thursday, which was solely based on undisclosed “documents and sources,” Reuters accused Rosneft of cashing in checks for the restricted Venezuela’s state oil firm, PDVSA. It said the Russian company was allegedly getting Venezuelan oil with a discount, paying for it immediately in bypass of the usual 30-to-90 day transaction timeframe and then getting the full amount from the final buyers.
Rosneft blasted the report as “a blatant lie” and “a provocation” against the company in its response on Friday.
“Reuters have ceased its operations as a news agency and a media outlet. This enterprise systematically engages in forging and spreading deliberate misinformation, legalization of rumors in the interests of its sponsors; invents news opportunities with the aim of damaging Russian economy, Russian companies and the Russian state,” the statement read.
Those actions by the international news organization constitute “informational sabotage,” it said.
Rosneft insisted that it had no other choice but to “address the law enforcement agencies in order to curb the activities of this bogus agency [Reuters] on the territory of Russia.”
The US has put Venezuela under harsh sanctions which target its main source of income – the oil exports – and other areas of its economy. Washington has also directed foreign companies not to deal with PDVSA or face punishment themselves, according to reports.
American restrictions represent a heavy burden for the Latin American nation, which suffers from hyperinflation and is unable to import even the most essential food and medical supplies. However, the pressure still hasn’t been enough to fulfill the Trump administration’s goal of replacing socialist President Nicolas Maduro with US-backed opposition leader, Juan Guaido.
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