Russia has stated that it will stand by Venezuela and will protect its assets in the country, which has received vast investment into its state-owned oil giant PDVSA in exchange for crude deliveries.
Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, said Russia will use “all mechanisms available to us” within international law to defend its Venezuelan interests.
Russia has maintained close ties with Nicolas Maduro by extending $6 billion of loans from its oil firm Rosneft to its Venezuelan counterpart, which must be fully redeemed in crude oil supplies by the end of 2019.
The US Treasury has recently imposed a new round of sanctions on PDVSA to “help prevent further diverting of Venezuela’s assets by Maduro and preserve these assets for the people of Venezuela.”
Last week, the US confirmed its support for Juan Guaidó, the chairman of the National Assembly, as legitimate president after he declared himself interim president.
“The path to sanctions relief for PDVSA is through the expeditious transfer of control to the Interim President or a subsequent, democratically elected government,” Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin said.
Peskov said Moscow considers the sanctions to be “illegal” and an attempt to interfere in Venezuela’s internal affairs, prompting Russia to assess the potential consequences it could face from the penalty on PDVSA.