Venezuela oil deal not being discussed, White House says
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that the possibility of the United States importing oil from Venezuela is “not an active conversation at this time” after US officials met with the Venezuelan government to discuss the matter.
After being asked by a reporter on Monday about her previous comments, which advised journalists to “not focus a lot” on the possibility of the US importing oil from Venezuela, and whether such comments meant the US government was ruling out such a deal, Psaki claimed an oil deal was not yet being discussed.
“I was saying it’s not an active conversation at this time,” she said.
Senior US officials traveled to Venezuela this month to meet with President Nicolas Maduro’s government amid Russia’s conflict with Ukraine – leading to speculation that the US was considering Venezuela as a replacement for Russian oil.
Venezuelan Minister for Foreign Affairs Felix Plasencia announced following the meeting that the country was ready to sell oil to the US again while simultaneously remaining “loyal” to Moscow. However, the US has since backtracked on the idea.
The US also seemingly looked towards the Middle East as a replacement for Russian oil. However, it was reported that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the UAE had declined to speak with US President Joe Biden in recent weeks.