The United States Treasury Department, in an official press release, has added Moscow-based Evrofinance Mosnarbank to its sanctions list, after allegedly showing a willingness to finance Venezuela’s Petro (PTR) cryptocurrency.
A Venezuelan government account at Evrofinance was used to invite early investors to buy PTR, stated the Treasury.
According to reports, Evrofinance is jointly owned by Venezuelan and Russian government companies. Moreover, Evrofinance’s involvement in Petro was seen by the Treasury as Venezuela’s President Maduro’s method to avoid US financial sanctions.
Utilizing the Venezuelan National Development Fund, Hugo Chavez, Maduro’s predecessor, secured a 49% stake in Evrofrinance back in 2011, noted the statement.
Along with that, 50% stake in Evrofinance was owned by VTB Bank (Russia’s second largest bank) and Russia’s Gazprombank at the time of its incorporation. Gazprom, the Russian government-owned gas producer, is a major shareholder in Gazprombank.
The US will keep taking action against all international financial institutions that are looking to support Maduro regime, maintained the Treasury. Majority of the EU and US-based banks have refused to offer any support to Maduro’s government.
Moreover, Evrofinance has been accused of funding PDVSA, Venezuelan state-owned oil company. Since January 2019, PDVSA is under US sanctions.
In December 2017, Juan Guaido (Venezuelan self-declared interim president backed by Canada, US, and Germany) declared Maduro’s Petro a scam. However, Petro’s future is still hanging in the balance.
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