U.S. Sanctions Russian Bank For Side-Stepping Venezuela Sanctions

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The Treasury Department announced new sanctions Monday against a Russian bank it says is trying to get around U.S. sanctions on Venezuela.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control said Evrofinance Mosnarbank, a bank jointly owned by Russian and Venezuelan companies, aided Venezuela’s Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. — which has “long been a vehicle for corruption, embezzlement and money laundering by [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro and his cronies.”

Net assets of the bank grew by over 50 percent in 2018, a period marked by food and medicine shortages in Venezuela and the inflationary collapse of the country’s currency. Evrofinance also took the lead in purchasing the Petro, a Venezuelan cryptocurrency. That action is indicative of Maduro’s attempt to circumvent U.S. financial sanctions, the Treasury Department said.

The Treasury said more than 50 countries, including the United States, have recognized interim President Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela. Guaido has been involved in a power struggle for weeks with Maduro, who opponents say won re-election this year by unlawful means.

Read the original article here: upi.com

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