Russia’s Gazprombank rejects report on Venezuelan oil giant’s new accounts

  • Russia’s Gazprombank rejects report on Venezuelan oil giant’s new accounts

Russia’s Gazprombank rejects report on Venezuelan oil giant’s new accounts

Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA is moving bank accounts belonging to its joint ventures to one of the largest Russian banks, Gazprombank, amid USA sanctions, Reuters news agency reported early on Sunday, citing sources. Reuters said PDVSA's move follows new U.S. financial sanctions imposed on January 28 and aimed at blocking President Nicolas Maduro's access to Venezuela's oil revenue.

An active-duty Venezuelan army colonel who is a military doctor has dropped his allegiance to President Nicolas Maduro, backing opposition leader Juan Guaido instead. The report that Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA has opened its new accounts in Russia's Gazprombank has nothing to do with reality, a spokesman for the credit organization told TASS on Sunday. "But we stress that no new accounts were opened and are planned to be opened in the bank", the spokesman said. Since then, PDVSA has been pressing its foreign partners at joint ventures in its Orinoco Belt producing area to formally decide whether they will continue in the projects, according to two sources with knowledge of the talks.

According to the agency, PDVSA has instructed joint ventures' clients to transfer proceeds from oil sales to new bank accounts opened by the Russian bank.

State-run PDVSA several weeks ago informed customers of the new banking instructions and has begun moving the accounts of its joint ventures, which can export crude separately.

On February 4, most European Union member-states recognized Guaido as Venezuela's interim president.

Maduro has overseen an economic collapse in the oil-rich OPEC country that has left many Venezuelans malnourished and struggling to find medicine, sparking the exodus of an estimated 3 million Venezuelans.

Guaido made the comments in an address to reporters.