Kremlin: US Sanctions against Venezuela Illegal Intervention

MOSCOW- US sanctions against Venezuelan Oil Company PDVSA (Petroleos de Venezuela) is blatant illegal intervention, said Russian Presidential Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday.

"The legal leadership of Venezuela has already described these sanctions as illegal. We can fully join this point of view," he said.

He recalled the "consistent attitude of Moscow to such restrictions, to which American colleagues are increasingly beginning to resort."

"We do not consider this to be right; we consider it most often to be the manifestations of unfair competition. In this case, this is a continued line on undisguised interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela," the Kremlin spokesperson said, according to Itar Tass.

Peskov did not go into details about the possible consequences of the US sanctions policy against the Venezuelan oil-producing company PDVSA for Russia. "This is a commercial issue," he said.

"Of course, we are analyzing the possible consequences of these restrictive limiting actions." At the same time, he assured that Moscow will use all available mechanisms to protect its own interests, if they are affected by US sanctions against Venezuela. "Naturally, we will defend ourselves within the framework of the existing international law, using all the mechanisms available to us," Peskov said.

‘Alert Venezuela!’ Maduro Says US Stealing Oil Revenue

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has lashed out at the United States over new unilateral sanctions imposed on the Latin American country’s oil sector, vowing to take legal action in response to the move, according to Press TV.

The administration of US President Donald Trump announced a new round of sanctions against oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), in order to funnel income from the country’s main oil exporter into the hands of opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Guaido, who declared himself “interim president” last week, was immediately recognized as Venezuela’s rightful leader by Washington and its allies.

In a live national broadcast on Monday, Maduro said Washington “intend[s] to steal the company Citgo from all Venezuelans,” referring to the PDVSA’s US subsidiary, which Guaido also has an eye on.

 “(Be on) alert Venezuela, the United States today has decided to go down the path of stealing the company Citgo from Venezuela and it’s an illegal path,” he said.

Maduro also described the sanctions as “illegal, unilateral, immoral, (and) criminal.”

Caracas to take legal action

He said that the firm is “already studying [legal counter-]actions and we from PDVSA will take all the legal, political, operative, technical, and commercial measures to defend the interests of Venezuela in the United States.”

The Venezuelan president also vowed to “give the necessary, symmetrical and forceful response to defend the interests of Venezuela, at the right time.”

Citgo Petroleum operates three refineries in the US.

Only moments before the announcement of the sanctions, Guaido said he had ordered the opposition-controlled Venezuelan National Assembly — which is not recognized by the state — to nominate executive boards for PDVSA and Citgo to “guarantee that Citgo continues to be for Venezuelans.”

“From this moment forward we are beginning to take progressive and orderly control of our republic’s assets abroad,” Guaido wrote in a statement on his Twitter account, said Press TV.

China Affirms Support for Venezuela, Condemns Sanctions

 China condemned the economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the United States and warned that the North American nation must answer for the serious consequences of this measure towards the South American country, according to Telesur.

"The sanctions of certain countries against Venezuela will deteriorate the lives of the population. They must be responsible for the serious consequences that these sanctions will cause," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.

The diplomat added that China "is opposed to unilateral sanctions" because these measures always complicate the situation and do not facilitate a solution to the problem.

The Chinese official assured Beijing’s continued alliance and cooperation with Venezuela in all areas on the basis "of equality, mutual benefit and common development."

The new US measures against Venezuela include the freezing of some US$ 7 billion dollars in assets of the Venezuelan state oil company (PDVSA), in addition to an estimated loss of US$11 billion dollars of exports over the next few years.

The sanctions are applied to the Venezuelan government; to any political organizations; state agencies, including the Bank of Venezuela and PDVSA; as well as to any person acting in the interest of the "government of Nicolas Maduro."

Venezuelan envoy to UN says US preparing for ‘military invasion’ of Venezuela

Venezuela’s envoy to the United Nations says the United States is preparing for a “military invasion” of his country, amid Washington’s recent move to impose sanctions on the state-owned oil firm PDVSA in its harshest financial challenge yet to President Nicolas Maduro, Press TYV reported.

Jorge Valero, Venezuela’s permanent ambassador to the UN, made the comment at a the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in New York on Tuesday, questioning whether US President Donald Trump’s administration had the moral authority to “impose a diktat” on Caracas.

Valero’s remarks were in direct response to the US deputy ambassador to the UN, Cynthia Plath, who said minutes earlier that Washington was “committed to holding accountable those responsible for Venezuela’s tragic decline.”