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29 Jan, 2019 15:04

‘Cynical’ US sanctions meant to confiscate Venezuela’s assets – Lavrov

‘Cynical’ US sanctions meant to confiscate Venezuela’s assets – Lavrov

The Russian FM condemned the US for basically confiscating Venezuela’s state property, as Washington announced sanctions against government-run oil company PDVSA.

Sergey Lavrov slammed the US sanctions against Venezuela, calling them “cynical”, as Washington froze the $7 billion assets of the state-run oil company PDVSA and its US subsidiary Citgo. Moscow’s top diplomat implied that the White House is pursuing vested interests in Venezuela.

“US companies operating in Venezuela are excluded from the sanctions regime. Simply put they want to overthrow the government and gain profits at the same time,” the Russian diplomat said.

Lavrov believes that what the US is doing is simply trying to confiscate Venezuela’s money under the guise of sanctions, noting that the US “has experience” in such “illegal” affairs, giving Iraq, Libya, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Panama as examples.

Washington’s sanctions were announced on Monday as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said they are meant to prevent a "further diversion" of Venezuela’s assets by President Nicolas Maduro. Restrictions are to remain in force till “expeditious transfer of control to the interim president, or the subsequently democratically elected government” takes place.

Maduro slammed American authorities for “stealing” the company and demanded Donald Trump to keep his “hands off” Venezuela.

Venezuela’s president blames the US for orchestrating a coup under the guise of protecting the interests of the local people. Washington supports the leader of the National Assembly Juan Guaido who declared himself an “interim president” following violent clashes on the streets of Caracas.

Venezuela’s opposition is also backed by US-Latin American allies as well as many European countries including the UK, Germany, France, and Spain. Russia, China, Turkey, Iran and a number of other countries stand by president Maduro who received 67.8 percent of the vote in the 2018 presidential elections. His supporters also rallied in Caracas last week protesting against Guaido’s claims.

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