U.S Treasury Adds Russian Bank To Sanctions For Petro Involvement
Evrofinance Mosnarbank, a Russian-based bank, has found itself on the blacklist books of the United States Treasury Department after it got too close with Venezuela’s state-backed cryptocurrency, Petro.
In a press release, The Treasury Department has divulged information indicating that the financial institution was willing to offer financial aid towards Petro’s development.
Primary International Petro Financier And Supporter Of The Maduro Regime
According to the Treasury Department:
“When the failed Venezuelan cryptocurrency called the Petro launched in 2018, Evrofinance emerged as the primary international financial institution willing to finance the Petro. Early investors in the Petro were invited to buy the cryptocurrency by wiring funds to a Venezuelan government account at Evrofinance. Evrofinance’s involvement in the Petro demonstrated Maduro’s [Venezuelan president] hope that the Petro would allow Venezuela to circumvent U.S. financial sanctions.”
Evrofinance, according to information provided by the U.S Treasury Department, is jointly owned by Russian and Venezuelan companies with support from their individual country’s government. The press release notes that the former Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, has a 49 percent control at the bank which he acquired in 2011 through the country’s National Development Fund.
Another ill committed by Evrofinance is its continued partnership with the Venezuelan government despite other financial institutions shifting their business focus from Venezuelan due to the current president’s record.
Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary, Treasury, said:
“The illegitimate Maduro regime has profited off of the suffering of the Venezuelan people. This action demonstrates that the United States will take action against foreign financial institutions that sustain the illegitimate Maduro regime and contribute to the economic collapse and humanitarian crisis plaguing the people of Venezuela.”
Since Maduro indicated that he will be developing a state-backed cryptocurrency to help control the rapidly rising inflation rate in the country, Juan Guaido, Venezuela’s opposition leader with a support from the United States, Canada, and Germany, indicated that the Petro had minimal chances of qualifying as a state virtual currency or helping in circumventing the economic sanctions.
From its launch, Evrofinance was recognized as a bi-national bank meant to fund joint Russia-Venezuela oil and infrastructure projects.
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