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Venezuela Goes Around US Sanctions by "Funneling Oil Sales Via Russia"

  •  World

President Nicolas Maduro is funnelling cash flow from Venezuelan oil sales through Russian state energy giant Rosneft as he seeks to evade US sanctions designed to remove him from power, according to sources and documents reviewed by Reuters news agency, Aljazeera reports. 

The sales are the latest sign of the growing dependence of Venezuela's cash-strapped government on Russia as the United States tightens a financial noose around Maduro.

Since January, Maduro's administration has been in talks with allies in Moscow about ways to circumvent a ban on clients paying PDVSA in dollars, the sources said. Russia has publicly said the US sanctions are illegal and it would work with Venezuela to weather them.

Under the scheme uncovered by Reuters, Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has started passing invoices from its oil sales to Rosneft.

The Russian energy giant pays PDVSA immediately at a discount to the sale price - avoiding the usual 30-to-90 day timeframe for completing oil transactions - and collects the full amount later from the buyer, according to the documents and sources.


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