Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Trump Threatens to Slap More Sanctions Against Venezuela
Tuesday, 25 February 2020 7:13 PM

US President Donald Trump has threatened to impose harsher sanctions on Venezuela, targeting its oil sector with new sanctions.

Earlier, US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams said Trump had "made a decision to push harder on the Venezuelan oil sector and we’re going to do it. And what we’re telling people involved in this sector is that they should get out of it".

Abrams told Reuters on Monday that new sanctions against Venezuela's oil sector will be more aggressive in punishing people and companies that violate them.

A top U-S official says President Donald Trump has decided to step up sanctions on Venezuela
"You will be seeing something on that in the not too distant future," Trump said in a threat against Venezuela on Tuesday.

When asked about the sanctions on Venezuela, and whether it would affect Indian firms that were directly buying oil from the Latin American country, or indirectly though international traders, Trump warned reporters at a news conference in New Delhi, India, the sanction could be serious.

"There could be very serious sanctions ... You are asking a question right in the middle of us doing something," Trump said

India and China are the important buyers of Venezuelan oil, with India importing about 342,000 barrels per day for Venezuela in 2019, according to tanker data obtained by Reuters. Reliance Industries Ltd, operator of the world's biggest refining complex, and Nayara Energy, part-owned by Russia's oil giant Rosneft, are the only Indian buyers of Venezuelan oil.

The two firms had been purchasing Venezuelan oil from Rosneft.

The US slapped sanctions on a trading company belonging to Rosneft last week for trading Venezuelan oil.

The Trump administration claimed the Switzerland-based Russian company, Rosneft Trading SA, had garnered "malign support" to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) in an effort to circumvent the US sanctions.

The US sanctions aim to exert pressure on the Venezuelan nation as part of its "regime change" efforts to topple Maduro's leftist government in the Latin American country, which has huge oil and gas reserves.

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